Title: Five HIV Patients Left “Virus-Free’ with no Need for Daily Drugs in Early Vaccine Trials
Source: “Independent’ Magazine, UK
Date: February 23rd, 2017
Summary: Researchers conducted a clinical trial over three years in Barcelona, Spain. Two therapeutic HIV vaccines have been used in combination with the drug that was usually used in the treatment of cancer. Within twenty-five participants, the virus was undetectable in five volunteers as the immune system kicked back in and stopped the virus spreading in the body. One of the volunteers did not have to take antiretroviral medications for a period over seven months. The HIV affected more than 18 million people in the world. The single treatment that was used so far, is the antiretroviral drugs which can slow down the infection progression, but these drugs must be taken on daily basis. The vaccines used in the trial, were therapeutic and could potentially control the virus without daily medication intake.
Connections: As we spoke in the class, we can acquire artificial immunity via active immunization (vaccination with controlled dose of harmless antigen) and passive immunization (injection of antiserum containing antibodies). Those are preventative measures and must be performed prior the diseases affecting the organism.
Critical Analysis: The therapeutic vaccines used for treatment not prevention. We didn’t cover this material in the class, so I’ve looked on the Internet. The purpose of therapeutic vaccines is to help people, already infected with HIV, to maintain lower viral load that supposedly, do not require the daily dose of antiretroviral drugs. Therapeutic vaccines are theoretically possible but still undergo developmental stages. The authors used “Aids’ instead of official “AIDS’ in the article which caused a lot of comment from people to use the right abbreviations. I couldn’t find a peer-reviewed article to confirm those “therapeutic vaccine’, thus, will read that kind of information with caution.
Question: Did anyone know about “therapeutic vaccines’? I wonder what is the content of them and what is causing to maintain lower viral loads?