Promising New Breakthrough in HIV Vaccination Quest!
July 20, 2010
(Chattahbox) – Researchers have found an antibody said to neutralize up to 91% of HIV strains, the Wall Street Journal reports. Previous antibodies’ effectiveness maxed out around 40%, if they were effective at all. The antibodies were found inside the cells of an older African-American gay man, known only as “Donor 45.”
Previously, researchers looked for answers from prostitutes in areas with minimal access to condoms. In areas like Thailand and Kenya, some sex workers have developed immunity to the HIV virus. Unfortunately, the Kenyan prostitutes originally studied acquired HIV once they returned to their work after a period of time away, indicating that their immunity required constant exposure to the virus. A vaccination tested in Thailand was similarly discouraging, with disagreement over whether it was even marginally effective.
New technology allowed the researchers to discover the antibodies from Donor 45. Previously scientists were only able to find the semi-effective antibodies. Although scientists still have a long road ahead of them and we have encountered many disappointments already, the odds look promising that we will see an effective vaccination against HIV in our lifetime.