A potential HIV vaccine is showing very promising results in Phase I human trials, according to Scripps Research and IAVI, a nonprofit research organization that develops vaccines and antibodies for HIV and other diseases.
The vaccine works by stimulating the production of rare immune cells that generate HIV-resistant antibodies. Such a result was found in 97 percent of human participants administered the potential vaccine. The findings were presented at the International AIDS Society HIV Research for Prevention conference in early February but have only recently generated media attention.
Since HIV emerged as a pandemic in the early 1980s, scientists have been trying to figure out a way to outsmart the wily virus, which easily morphs into different strains and makes it difficult to create an effective immune response. The potential vaccine has initially shown efficacy in prompting certain cells to create antibodies that can fend off HIV in its various iterations.