Vaccine rids monkeys of HIV-like virus

With some help from a few primates, researchers may have found a real solution to the widespread HIV virus. Scientists have effectively cleared the bloodstreams of HIV-infected monkeys with the disease. They hope to now reproduce the effect in humans who carry the virus.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University first developed the vaccine that looks to be very promising in ridding the human body of the virus, reports the Science Recorder. After first being tested at OHSU’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Unit, it was then administered to non-human primates in the hopes that it would fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the primate’s form of HIV.

SIV is up to 100 times more deadly than HIV. Monkeys usually die within two years of contracting it, says CBS News.

The monkeys were vaccinated and then given the SIV virus. Out of the 16 monkeys, nine were able to fight off the infection and defeat the virus. Follow-up research revealed that those monkeys were still infection free 1.5 to three years later.

Further study hopes to disclose why the vaccine did not have a similar effect in all of the monkeys tested.

"It could be the fact that SIV is so pathogenic that this is the best you are ever going to get," said Dr. Louis Picker, associate director of the Oregon Health and Science University Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. "There is a battle going on, and half the time the vaccine wins and half the time it doesn't.”

About 1.2 million people in the U.S. are said to be living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which eventually leads to AIDS, says the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
 It is hoped that an HIV form of the vaccine will be tested on humans in the future.

Source: The Celebrity Cafe, by Chelsey Edwards