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Sun Jul 14, 2019, 11:04 AM

HIV Vaccine Trials on Gay, Bi Men to Begin in U.S., Europe

Johnson & Johnson is preparing to test an experimental HIV vaccine in the U.S. and Europe in a move toward developing the first immunization against the deadly disease after decades of frustration. Some 3,800 men who have sex with men will receive a regimen of shots in a study that’s planned to be launched later this year, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview. The agency and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network of testing sites will collaborate with J&J’s Janssen unit on the effort.

Since cases first began to gain notice in the early 1980s, scientists have been searching fruitlessly for a vaccine against the virus that causes AIDS and kills close to 1 million people worldwide annually. Efforts are continuing with at least two other promising candidates in late-stage studies.

J&J is endeavoring to make a vaccine that will work in populations around the world that are infected with myriad strains of the rapidly changing virus. Other candidate shots have focused on preventing single varieties.

The approach “brings us one step closer to covering the vast diversity of viruses worldwide,” said Dan Barouch, a Harvard Medical School professor whose research laid the groundwork for the vaccine. “For medical and global public health reasons, it’s better to have a vaccine that works in multiple parts of the world.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-12/j-j-poised-for-major-trial-in-quest-for-elusive-hiv-vaccine

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