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Canada Medicine Science

HIV Vaccine Approval For Human Trials 365

An anonymous reader writes with news that researchers from the University of Western Ontario have been given approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin testing an HIV vaccine in humans. From the article: "The vaccine is the first based on a genetically modified killed whole virus, [researchers said.] ... a clinical trial on 40 HIV-positive volunteers will begin next month. That phase will last a year, after which 600 HIV-negative volunteers will see how the vaccine impacts their immune systems. A final phase, which will take about three years, will involve about 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers."
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HIV Vaccine Approval For Human Trials

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  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:27PM (#38441200)

    You can even have another Toronto paper [] if you like.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:32PM (#38441254)
    HIV isn't a death sentence for the well-off. Treating it requires a cocktail of antivirals, all of them very expensive, plus frequent tests to see when the drugs need swapping out as the virus evolves. The drugs themselves have some unpleasant side effects too.
  • Re:FP (Score:4, Informative)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:36PM (#38441300)
    The best guess for transmission from simians to humans was not via sex, but by eating of undercooked monkey meat. (perhaps even raw). Near as I can tell, those perpetuating the sex with monkeys jokes are racists wanting to malign Africans with beastiality claims.
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:37PM (#38441316)

    There's some progress on that [], though still probably some years out from having something available.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:43PM (#38441414)

    That whole boondoggle is the perfect example of why you shouldn't take your kids to a doctor with an ax to grind. It turns out that after they took her kid to a real doctor, they found out he had Landau-Kleffner syndrome []. Even she doesn't claim that vaccines cause autism anymore, now it is just a general "we need to study vaccines for safety" and "we need to study causes and treatments of autism." Of course, that news didn't get anywhere near the attention the idea that it did cause autism got because it doesn't fit the loons message.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @06:52PM (#38441560) Homepage

    My guess, the second batch of volunteers will be those in marriages/committed relationships with HIV+ positive spouses (eg: married to a nurse who got pricked, a spouse who had a bad blood transfusion, victim of rape, etc, etc).

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:03PM (#38441722) Journal

    Anything that happens to you during a trial gets noted as a possible side-effect.
    Note that diarrhea and constipation are noted right next to each other, for instance. Ditto for hair loss and increased hairiness.

    It is highly likely most of those are completely unrelated to the vaccine, and that you’ll experience no such effects, but at this point, it’s really hard to tell. It pays to be cautious, or even paranoid, when conducting trials.

  • Re:FP (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pseudonym Authority ( 1591027 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:11PM (#38441830)

    Attitudes like yours are the reason it took so long for us to get around to curing this disease in the first place.

    Are you sure that it doesn't have more to do with the fact that it is incredibly difficult?

  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:12PM (#38441838) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me that if this works then there should be a vaccine effective against every flu?

    As a matter of fact, there is one. It's called Flu-V [], and was apparently developed using the same methodology used to create the AIDS vaccine.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:24PM (#38442010) Homepage Journal
    Um, you do realize this isn't the first vaccine to be tested right? It's not, not by a long shot. There have been a massive number of HIV vaccines that have been tested, with at least one reaching Phase III(the last, and biggest phase) trials before being abandoned. So while it's good to see a new approach, I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

    by izomiac ( 815208 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @08:04PM (#38442412) Homepage
    Priapism is usually painful, and often ends with either someone drawing off the blood with a needle or necrosis of the penis. But, hey, if you're into that kind of thing, I'm not here to judge.
  • by davidoff404 ( 764733 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:09PM (#38443054)

    Clinical trials have different aims. In addition to demonstrating the efficacy of a drug, one of the principal reasons why clinical trials are conducted is to demonstrate that the drug isn't harmful to humans even if it doesn't represent an effective treatment.

    There are probably other good clinical reasons why they've picked HIV-positive patients to test on, but I'd imagine that demonstrating the drug's safety is the main objective here.

  • I've worked with an organization providing care to the homeless a few years ago, and while being HIV+ is not a short-term death sentence anymore, it is nowhere near as easy to treat as you make it. Most patients can expect to spend about 3 to 7 years using drugs with only moderate side-effects, but after that, most start needing to use some stronger drugs. These can have very serious side effects, including vomiting several times a day, constant headaches, extreme dizziness, lack of appetite so bad that they have to force themselves to eat every meal, sexual dysfunction, etc.

    I'm not a medical professional but from what I understand there are also strains of HIV that need the "strong" treatment right away, and people can even get multiple strains (I saw a few of those). Even with the medication being free in Canada, where I live, I spoke with people in their late 30s who stopped taking the meds because they'd rather have a few more years of relatively good life than living with the drugs' side effects.

    We've made a lot of progress, but HIV is still a death sentence, just longer term. And you'll feel miserable for the better part of your remaining life. Not something to take lightly.

  • Re:AIDS is a Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:30AM (#38444458) Homepage

    I'm a scientist in mind, if not in profession, but really... come on and put some effort into it.

    I click the link.

    I see the hyperbole in the first few paragraphs. Start to ignore the rhetoric and go for the linked "facts". Hit a site, linked to prominently under the heading "Informative Websites" (alongside other prominent links such as "Mind Control 101", "State Use of Schizophrenia", "Human Race Being Nonconsensually Brain-Linked", "US Army Intelligence Officer: Gang Stalking Phenomenon is Precursor to Coming Holocaust", etc.).

    Whoop, whoop, amber alert, plough on.

    Anyway, the link I click is centre-page, top of the fold, with the name "AIDS Controversy" (and they don't capitalise AIDS properly half the time) on the domain

    Whoop, whoop, red alert, plough on anyway.

    Read the first name on the list. Apparently a Nobel prize-winning biochemist is top of the list. Look him up on Wikipedia. Read the first two paragraphs about him which contain the following:

    "Since winning the Nobel Prize, Mullis has been criticized in The New York Times for promoting ideas in areas in which he has no expertise. He has promoted AIDS denialism, climate change denial and his belief in astrology."

    Right up until the last line I was prepared to give the guy a chance, at least, but I don't believe he's been misquoted at all based on the links there.

    I tried to get further down the list but either the people listed were non-notable, outside their field of expertise (a mathematician... really?), misquoted, not discoverable via some quick searches or just plain loopy. There probably are a couple of sensible people in there but even being ASSOCIATED with those organisations, websites, etc. and not clearly stating their personal position somewhere I can find it is pretty damning evidence that they just don't care who quotes them or what they are associated with.

    I terminated my investigation there. Please note that I've seen people claim man didn't walk on the Moon and their "evidence" got several stages further than this just by the presentation (but obviously fall down on facts later on).

    If you want to quote random crap at me, at least make sure it's *feasible* random crap, not linked to complete timewasters, attention-seekers and tinfoil-hat-nutters. Any form of argument, whether religious, scientific or otherwise, needs to be able to stand alongside who it cites and quotes with pride, and to be taken seriously when doing so. Otherwise, we will just file it in the bit-bucket within literally SECONDS of checking facts.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie