At a further attempt to halt the spread of HIV, the United States is making a bold decision to begin testing the HIV vaccine. Researchers from the University of Western Ontrario developed a new vaccine, and the Food and Drug Administration announced its approval on Tuesday for use in the US. Containing a genetically modified virus, the experimented vaccine is set to be tested on thousands of participants.
The Researchers have been studying HIV and AIDS for 20 years and have spent the last 10 developing the vaccine. Starting in January, the vaccine will undergo three phases of human clinical trials.
Phase I – The first phase is meant to analyze the vaccine and determine if it is toxic in the human body.
Phase II – During phase two of the human clinical trials the researchers will look at the immune response to see if the vaccine actually performs like it is supposed to by inducing the proper immune response.
Phase III – In phase three 6,000 people are needed so that statistical data can be accumulated and later presented. For the testing, a vaccinated and non-vaccinated group will be compared to see if the vaccine protects against HIV infection or not.
The vaccine raises alarms when considering the potential side effects and adverse reactions that may be experienced not only in the test group, but in the population as a whole. As with the experimental anthrax vaccine, the tests have become controversial in nature. With the anthrax vaccine, however, many experts and political figures were outspoken against the shot as it had been linked to death and serious side effects in previous government trials. In fact, the the 2007 CDC report that found “between 1 and 2 percent” of military personnel injected with the anthrax vaccine experienced ”severe adverse events, which could result in disability or death.”