After success in conducting Malaria candidate vaccine for children waiting approval from World Health Organization, the UNC Project in Malawi is planning to carry out tests of HIV vaccine.
Professor Francis Martinson the UNC Project Country Director, disclosed that the study only awaits an approval of their application by the National Health Sciences Research Committee.
He said once the committee give a go ahead, tests will be carried out in areas where there is high HIV prevalence and that trials will target close to 20 adults with low risk of HIV.
With all support, Martinson said those participants will be followed up for the rest of their lives to see how the vaccine behaves in their body.
He offered hope that once the results of the study brings out positive result, there is possibility of trying the vaccine to those infected with HIV Virus.
Prof. Martinson made emphasis that this HIV Vaccine study aims at adding force to existing tools for fighting HIV prevalence.
“HIV prevalence remains at 10% for quite some time now, so we need more tools to force down the prevalence. That is why the issue of HIV Vaccine comes in.” he said.
He explained that the vaccine which is not an infectious agents, once introduced in the normal body will trick the body to produce antibodies that can be ready to fight and kill the virus so that the body does not get infected.
But he urged people to be part of the trial process “Everybody needs to do their portion. You need to be part of the process.” Urged Prof. Martinson
“If we test the HIV virus in your country is easy to do a vaccine and the chances that the vaccine will work better in your country are far better than if we go and test those vaccines in another country and bring the results here.
It is always good to participate in some of these things so that you reap the full benefits of the results of these studies” explained Martinson
The UNC Project country director hinted that many SADC region countries where HIV prevalence is very high including South Africa, Botswana and Zambia are also participating in this vaccine.
“In these places people have higher chances of being exposed to HIV virus. The Vaccine is being tested in these areas because they are people who will benefit most with the vaccine.”
UNC Project in Malawi was also recently involved in trials for malaria candidate vaccine for children (RTS, S/ Mosquirix) which will soon be recommended by World Health Organisation. The Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency has already made a positive opinion of the vaccine.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :