Quantcast
Connect with us

Researchers hope antibody studies will pave way for HIV vaccine

Published

on

The path for a cure or vaccine for HIV is littered with disappointments – much-hyped treatments or trials have ultimately ended in failure.

Today, however, the HIV research community is more hopeful, especially in lieu of PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis – the use of the antiretroviral drug Truvada to prevent HIV infection. With PrEP, HIV-negative individuals take a daily dose of Truvada to halt HIV transmission, and the drug is more than 99 percent effective at preventing HIV when taken daily.

ADVERTISEMENT

Therein, however, lies the rub: PrEP requires daily adherence.

Flush on the heels of PrEP is a major new, multi-continent trial that will test a lab-created antibody to determine if it is effective in preventing HIV transmission.

The antibody was discovered in an HIV-infected individual who was able to control HIV infection without medication. Replicated in a lab, researchers will inject a solution containing the antibody into HIV-negative men and transgender individuals who have sex with men through an IV, then monitor whether infections occur.

The new study is called AMP, for antibody-mediated prevention.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is landmark study,” said Shobha Swaminathan, an infectious disease specialist who is part of the study. “It is the first study of this magnitude to see whether an antibody infusion can help prevent new HIV infections. If it proves effective, it could potentially pave a way for developing a vaccine for HIV infection.”

Typically, vaccines introduce a biological agent that stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize and fight off a particular disease. Many vaccines spark the body to create antibodies.

In AMP, patients recruited for the study will receive transfusions of saline solution including the antibody once every eight weeks. The trial will continue for roughly two years.

ADVERTISEMENT

AMP is not a test for a vaccine. The antibody being studied dissipates over time. The hope, however, is that scientists can find antibodies that prevent HIV from replicating, and eventually create a vaccine that induces the body to produce antibodies that prevent HIV infection.

The study will recruit 2,700 men and transgender individuals whose sexual partners are men. In addition to being offered the antibody IV, participants will be counseled on safer sex practices and offered PrEP. Those already taking PrEP are not ineligible for the study.

The AMP study isn’t the only study looking at options for HIV prevention. Researchers are also currently testing long-lasting injectable medication, also administered about once every two months. The drug currently being tested is called cabotegravir and is owned by ViiV Healthcare. Cabotegravir has performed well in safety studies and animal testing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Additionally, researchers are currently recruiting participants to test another iteration of Truvada. A study on non-human primates found the drug 100% effective at preventing HIV, but a second study suggested blood levels of the primary HIV-fighting drug in the body might be too low to be effective.

Gilead Sciences, the maker of Truvada, will soon be testing a modified version of the drug that has fewer reported side effects. Results from that study are expected in 2020.

Roughly 45,000 people contract HIV in the United States every year. Worldwide, roughly 37 million people are living with HIV. Most live in sub-Saharan Africa, where many of the AMP test sites are located.

ADVERTISEMENT

When first recognized in 1981, HIV was usually fatal; today, it can typically be treated – but not cured – with a single daily pill that combines several anti-retroviral drugs.

To find out more about AMP, or to volunteer for the study, visit ampstudy.org.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’

Published

on

President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.

Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.

Here is some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/LazarusLeBaron/status/1165430924093165568

Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo

— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism

Published

on

An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.

Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.

Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

Here is the thread he posted:

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428067138846720

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428524808724480

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165429018486702081

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘The Mooch’ attended Biden fundraiser in the Hamptons — because Trump ‘has lost his mind’

Published

on

Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci attended a fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.

CBS News reporter Ben Mitchell posted a photo of Scaramucci at the event, and subsequently interviewed "The Mooch."

Scaramucci said he was still a registered Republican, but added that Trump "has lost his mind."

Spotted at a Biden event in the Hamptons: Fmr. Trump WH Comms Director Anthony @Scaramucci pic.twitter.com/PWVTZ8Qm15

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image