Clinical trials are now underway in northern California to test a new AIDS Vaccine on healthy volunteers. Researchers at University of California Davis say the vaccine has worked in monkeys and now they hope the results will be similar in humans.
Over a 15 month period, patients are injected several times with the vaccine, and given a blood test every two weeks. It's a new class of vaccine, designed to prepare the body to help fight the HIV Infection before you get it. "So if a cell gets infected with HIV and starts making HIV, your immune system comes in, recognizes the cell as being infected with a foreign substance and kills it," says Dr. Thomas Evans an Immunologic Disease Specialist.
Unlike many vaccines, this one does not use a live virus. Instead, researchers have taken one small part of HIV's genetic structure and replicated it. Researchers then measure the immune response to see if the vaccine is working to build a case against it.
Doctors admit, it's only been tested in animals, so they still don't know how the human body will respond. Phase one has just begun, testing the vaccine on healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 50. We'll know more as the testing continues over the 15 months.