The study dubbed PrEPVACC is also happening in Mbeya and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Maputo in Mozambique and in Durban South Africa, but Uganda has so far registered the biggest number of the 1700 total participants they are seeking.
A total of 157 volunteers have so far enrolled in a study
happening in Masaka, one of the sites that have been selected to assess
effectiveness of a vaccine against HIV in Africa.
The study dubbed PrEPVACC is also happening in Mbeya and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Maputo in Mozambique and in Durban South Africa, but
Uganda has so far registered the biggest number of the 1700 total participants
they are seeking.
Dr Eugene Ruzagira a researcher based at the Uganda Virus
Research Institute (UVRI) told Uganda Radio Network (URN) in an interview that Uganda has so far
enrolled 157 of the 187 total for all sites. 30 have been recruited at the
They have eligibility criteria whereby women of childbearing age have to be ready to use contraceptives for the duration of
the study. In Uganda, the researcher says they are looking to have about 400
//Cue in; ”For example one…
Cue out… Is something
Planned to end in March 2023, the study aims to assess
the effectiveness of two experimental vaccine candidates and remains the largest
trial happening in Africa currently after another promising Imbokodo study was discontinued
by an independent board of scientists two weeks ago. Now, Ruzagira says they only hope one of the vaccines work.
//Cue in; “PrEPVACC is also...
Cue out...Vaccines are combined.”//
Unlike the failed vaccine that had only negative women at
risk of HIV infection being given an active experimental vaccine or a placebo, with
PrEPVACC, researchers are dividing up the participants into three categories
where all of them will be given an oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug.
Scientists are positive that this design will likely give
them positive results considering that the just suspended study had over a hundred
volunteers became HIV positive while taking part in the study.
commenting on the imbokodo study, Ruzagira said while the
results have been disappointing, it provided lessons and that the knowledge
attained will move HIV research forward.
Meanwhile, the failure of an HIV vaccine with up to 30 years
of research is concerning especially now that the world has speedily acquired COVID-19
vaccines and yet are employing the same technology that has been tested on HIV
vaccines that haven’t been pulled through trials.
Rugazira says the explanation is scientific and has to do
with the nature of the HIV virus which keeps changing making it hard for
scientists to target how best it can be attacked. It’s unclear when for sure the HIV vaccine
will be available.