SA trial could lead to licensing of world's first HIV vaccine

30 November 2016 - 14:28 By Suthentira Govender

The world's first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch in seven years began at South African research sites on Wednesday‚ ahead of World Aids Day.

Professor Gita Ramjee
Professor Gita Ramjee
Image: Supplied

The study‚ called HVTN 702‚ will determine whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults.

About 5400 men and women who are all HIV-negative have been enrolled in the programme.

With more than 1000 people in South Africa becoming infected with HIV each day‚ a successful vaccine is seen as key to ending the epidemic.

Professor Gita Ramjee‚ director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit of the Medical Research Council‚ said the launch was momentous for South Africa.

Two participants were expected to receive the vaccine at the Vernham research site outside Durban on Wednesday morning.

According to Ramjee‚ if the HVTN 702 is shown to be effective against new infections‚ this South African trial could lead to the licensing of the world's first HIV vaccine.

– TMG Digital/The Times