Wednesday, July 14, 2010

AIDS, HIV Vaccine Research Antibodies VRC01-03

HIV and AIDS have been a killer for many years. Since HIV and AIDS were discovered in 1981, work on a vaccine has been a top priority. AIDS isn't just a killer in the United States. In fact, the AIDS epidemic is much worse across third world countries where access to sanitary healthcare conditions and access to decent preventative health care isn't available.

In fact, 90% of the world's HIV positive pregnant women live in the sub-Saharan African continent.

A breakthrough in finding a cure for aids may be here. Researchers have identified antibodies such as VRC01, VRC02, and VRC03 that appear to be useful in vaccines that could prevent as many as 95% of new HIV cases.

There's no vaccine that will be available in the near future, but the breakthrough could provide scientists and drug companies with a starting point to develop a vaccine that could save lives.

Previously, researchers realized that the virus quickly mutated in the human body - much quicker than they could create a vaccine for it. While the virus is still one that mutates rapidly, scientists are getting a better understanding of the inner workings of the virus itself and what vulnerabilities are present which could prove useful in a vaccine.

Currently, the best way to prevent AIDS is to avoid sharing bodily fluids with those who have the illness, and avoid sharing needles. Being in a true monogamous relationship with someone unaffected by the illness or abstaining altogether from intercourse are the only ways to avoid contacting the disease from sex. Due to new screening procedures, AIDS from blood transfusions are very rare.

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