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HIV Vaccine

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the a-step-in-the-right-direction dept.

Science 848

The Sexecutioner writes "WebMD is reporting on a new vaccine which has had an incredible effect in clinical trials. The vaccine, composed of human dendrites holding dead HIV viruses, has dropped test patients' viral load by up to 90% in one year. Could this be it?"

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Mixed feeling (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968564)

While I am glad that we may have found the cure to HIV that kills millions every year, I wonder if the vaccine will be affordable to those unfortunate ones?

I got a feeling that only those wealthy people can afford to get fixed up, but most of them caught HIV due to their irresponsible action. Yet innocent victims who caught the disease, for instance by birth, may never see the light.

It seems like most medical findings are "open-source", that you can read about them in journals, but the actual cost to produce a medicine is usually very prohibitive.

Re:Mixed feeling (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968631)

Slashdot.

The only place you can work in "open-source" while talking about HIV vaccines.

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968634)

Actually, given that making medicine is a matter of mixing and heating and distilling various chemicals, it is a process that is highly open to automation and can be made cheap real easy. The high cost is from the drug company trying to recover the money it invested in figuring out how to make the drug.

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968754)

My feelings were mixed because now that we're about to enter an era where casual sex will once again be fun (it was too stressful with the thread of aids), I'm in a solid relationship - though this is /., so noone'll believe me.

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968641)

I don't know about that.

The whole bit in the US about going to Canada to purchase meds is because Canadian law allows Canadian companies to produce generic medications using formulas covered by patents in the US.

Uninhibitted by royalties, the companies are able to produce drugs without the overhead of having to pay for all of that pesky R&D that no self-respecting drug company should have to pay for.

Re:Mixed feeling (4, Insightful)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968709)

Sorry, but that just isn't true. The truth is that identical drugs, made on identical lines, cost more in the US than they do in Canada. Why? Simple: the prices in Canada are negotiated by customers who have the time to study the actual costs of production, and who aren't desperately begging for the treatment right now. The result is drug prices which are genuinely negotiated between producer and consumer, rather that prices set by a producer with no feedback from a market.

That is to say, the lower prices in Canada are due to exactly what most opponents of socialized medicine claim to support: a working market with multiple, informed customers.

Wrong. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968788)

Most of the drugs that are sold in Canada are produced in the EXACT same factories that produce the drugs that are sold into the US market.

That is why most of the packaging is the exact same with the addition of French.

PARENT MAY HAVE GREASED iPOD MINI IN HIS ASS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968648)

the pink one

Re:Mixed feeling (1)

bradkittenbrink (608877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968652)

It seems like most medical findings are "open-source", that you can read about them in journals, but the actual cost to produce a medicine is usually very prohibitive.

Are you serious, just because you can read about them in journals doesn't mean the medicine isn't patented. That's what patents are for: encouraging people to publish what they would have kept a trade-secret by guaranteeing them a monopoly for a limited time. The prohibitive cost comes from the patent, not the actual production of the medicine.

This one sounds even more expensive. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968661)

The theory sounds easy enough for anyone to handle.

But it requires 2 items from the patient's body.
#1. Dendritic cells
#2. Dead virus

This doesn't sound like something that can be mass produced which means that the price will be high for most of the world.

Welcome to capitalism (4, Insightful)

violet16 (700870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968662)

Well, it's a trade-off: we want private companies to invest billions of dollars to develop medicines we need, but they'll only do so if there's the potential for profit. If there isn't, capital will flow out of drug companies's R&D budgets and into car manufacturers or something.

Governments that want to make a new life-saving drug available to all, not just those who can afford it, are free to subsidize it. Citizens and governments in wealthy countries who want to make the drugs available to citizens of poor countries can likewise fund it.

It's easy to paint a company as horrible because it wants to charge a lot of money for a life-saving new treatment. But in many cases that treatment wouldn't exist if the company couldn't make money from it.

Mmmm! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968708)

Vioxx!!

Let's let 'em DIE if they can't pay.

Re:Welcome to capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968716)

Hey now, let's not introduce facts and reason into this discussion, this is Slashdot after all.

Re:Welcome to capitalism (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968750)

um.... governments aren't out to save lives.

that was an obligitory reply to your sig.

really funny, might I ad.

(and this is off topic.)

Re:Welcome to capitalism (3, Insightful)

flossie (135232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968759)

Well, it's a trade-off: we want private companies to invest billions of dollars to develop medicines we need.

The dependence on the private sector is the real problem here. Of course, pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money on R&D and expect to make it back with the lucrative successes. However, this is not necessarily the best solution for society as a whole. Particularly in countries with a national health service funded by general taxation, paying lots of money to drugs companies is not an efficient use of resources. Directing the same money to universities to perform the research would ensure development of the same life-saving drugs while also ensuring that the drugs can be made available to all who need them.

Re:Welcome to capitalism (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968799)

Well, it's a trade-off: we want private companies to invest billions of dollars to develop medicines we need, but they'll only do so if there's the potential for profit. [Emphasis mine]

While in general I do agree with you (to try and stave the misplaced flames that may follow), it is worth pointing out that profit and money are rarely the sole motivations for people to do things. To try and base everything on the assumption that money is the only motivation is perhaps not the most sensible approach.

Jedidiah.

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968670)

"but most of them caught HIV due to their irresponsible action"?

What exactly do you mean with this statement? All people who have contracted HIV are innocent victims.

Re:Mixed feeling (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968710)

Trips to the third world to have sex with HIV+ 12 year old sex slaves maybe?

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968742)


I know that's how *I* got it. That little slut said she had never done it before...

Re:Mixed feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968741)

Yah, those guys in the crackhouse shooting heroin and having sex with three anonymous partners daily have certainly done nothing to bring it upon themselves.

Re:Mixed feeling (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968771)

If you have sex with the first stranger who comes to your house, you are not a victim anymore. The only victims of HIV are those who got an infected blood transfusion by "mistake".

Re:Mixed feeling (0, Troll)

CaptRespect (586610) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968795)

"All people who have contracted HIV are innocent victims."

No, with the exception of a few they are just stupid victims. It's 2004. We even have a stupid World AIDS day.
It's sexually transmitted. That means that all you have to do is make sure that you don't have sex with someone who already has it. And don't use dirty needles. Simple! WTF is wrong with people.

"I shot Heroin, and slept wit' 20 guys!, I can't believe I got AIDS!" These people are morons. Evolution means to kill them off.

Re:Mixed feeling (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968675)

First, I think it's way too early to think this is a cure for HIV.

Aside from that, when you RTFA you'll see that this isn't a regular drug, it's more of a therapy -- as I understand it, you use cells from the patient's own body and basically train them to combat the HIV virus. Unless you can create a generic version that would work across populations, it's not as simple as just shipping a bunch of shots off to the third world like we were able to do with polio.

As for "open source" drugs: You should realize it isn't that simple. It costs a lot of money to find, test and approve new drugs. While I'd agree that our current system enriches the drug companies at the expense of the little people (among a myriad of other problems), it's really important not to assume you can think of the industry like you do computing.

Re:Mixed feeling (4, Informative)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968736)

If it's effective, it will be affordable, one way or another. If the maker sets the price too high and governments or aid agencies don't step up, the demand will be met by the generics makers, and governments will turn a blind eye as necessary. No amount of flak about "respecting IP" outweighs a quarter of your population dropping dead.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation get involved here, too. Say what you like about Bill, the Foundation has done some good work in this field, and he's not short of the shekels.

yep (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968567)

good news, i hope

Wait, a vaccine? (4, Informative)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968568)

I'm confused about the terminology: If it was used on patients who already had HIV, wouldn't that be a treatment rather than a vaccine? Or does the way if works -- apparently reconfiguring the immune system to recognize HIV -- technically qualify it as a vaccine since that's basically how vaccines work?

I'd imagine that this sort of therapy could be useful against a whole range of viruses since (as I understand) it operates by training the immune system rather than crippling something specific to the virus the way that other HIV treatments do. If that'd work for most viruses, maybe someday people will be able to just update their own virus definitions a few times a year -- of course, most of them probably wouldn't bother and then call me for support when they open some damn .exe file they got in their friggin' email and... Sorry, started drifting there for a second.

Of course, it's awfully early to get too excited given this is just 18 people in Brazil so far, and "incredible effect" might be a bit strong since only 44% of the very small number of test patients are still showing the full benefit after one year, but I suppose any good news in this sort of scenario is, well, good news.

PS: Am I the only one who finds it darkly ironic that "The Sexecutioner" submitted this story?

Vaccine testing. (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968608)

I think you'd kind of HAVE to test the vaccine for an incurable illness on those with the illness already. Because the line would be very short to test it if they needed fresh blood.

So it might be a vaccine in early stages of testing.

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (5, Informative)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968635)

It's considered a vaccine when you're inoculating the patient with live or dead specimens of the pathogen with the goal of getting the patient's own immune system to handle the disease on its own.

In this particular case it's being used for therapy rather than trying to give someone immunity to a disease, but it's still a vaccine.

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968658)

first ever considered 'vaccine' was tested on a boy who already had smallpox, so calling this vaccine goes back a long time.

making hiv cure is just a part problem with the problem that is hiv in, say, africa. other diseases get spread pretty well too when don't have education and just go literally fucking around.

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (5, Insightful)

grunt547 (836363) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968790)

Seriously, curing HIV is just dealing with a symptom of a problem. If the groups that promote AIDS and STD education in Africa could get just a tiny portion of the funding that goes into HIV medical research, the spread of AIDS would run into a wall. In South Africa, they have billboards [sympatico.ca] that say things like "You can catch AIDS by having sex with an infected woman." Americans think, well, no kidding, but very few people have bothered to tell the South Africans that. AIDS is a problem that has to be attacked on all fronts.

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (2, Informative)

Sein (803257) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968689)

It appears to be a reconfiguration of the immune system that stops the drop in T-cell count in (most of) the people treated - which should at least be a stop-loss strategy for people infected with HIV who haven't developed full-blown AIDS.

Since it's not the HIV itself that kills you, but secondary infections your body can no longer fight off due to your compromised immune system.

At the very least it's life-extending and could turn HIV from an incurably deadly nasty into an incurably nasty chronic infection, while "we" work on a real cure or vaccine.

The only question is how well it'll work given the propensity for mutation that HIV has shown so far?

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (2, Informative)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968721)

I'm confused about the terminology: If it was used on patients who already had HIV, wouldn't that be a treatment rather than a vaccine? Or does the way if works -- apparently reconfiguring the immune system to recognize HIV -- technically qualify it as a vaccine since that's basically how vaccines work?

I'd imagine that this sort of therapy could be useful against a whole range of viruses since (as I understand) it operates by training the immune system rather than crippling something specific to the virus the way that other HIV treatments do. If that'd work for most viruses, maybe someday people will be able to just update their own virus definitions a few times a year -- of course, most of them probably wouldn't bother and then call me for support when they open some damn .exe file they got in their friggin' email and... Sorry, started drifting there for a second.

Well, in this case, it's both. A vaccine works by injecting dead (or weakened) material of whatever virus your immunizing against, into the system. The body builds special cells to attack the virus, and remembers that "virus definition", to continue the tech analogy. Should the virus attack (again), the body is prepared and is properly equipped to repel the attack.

The body normally does this on it's own when certain cells in the immune system (I forget the type. I believe they're lymphocytes) kill virus material, and Helper T Cells "read" the material, and sends the information back to the immune system, and tells it to prepare Killer T Cells (?) to destroy the infection. However, the problem with AIDS is, some of the virus has to be killed first, and the virus directly attacks the immune system, specifically, IIRC, Lymphocytes. So, Lymphocytes can't kill any of the virus in the early stages of the infection, so the Helper T Cells can't start production of Killer T cells so the virus can be wiped out.

Re:Wait, a vaccine? (0)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968726)

I too am confused. A vaccine is preventative, not curative. It would be wonderful if a cure was found, but don't hold your breath. There has never been a cure for any viral disease. Not a single one. I think they will get a vaccine done in the next few years. But unless they are on to something completely different, there will be little hope for those already infected.

hold on there (1, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968573)

dendrites are whole-tissue from the CNS...the best way on earth to pass on prion diseases. No Way is this going to become a vaccine until that little fear is put to rest!

Re:hold on there (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968630)

FTFA:

"The vaccine is made from a patient's own dendritic cells and HIV isolated from the patient's own blood."

Re:hold on there (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968647)

They use your own Dendrites though, according to the article.

It sounded to me like it is tailor amde per patient? Correct me if I misunderstood...

Re:hold on there (1)

crafteh (800371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968651)

The dendrites used in the vaccine come from the patient's own body, so there's no risk of passing a prion disease to someone else.

Re:hold on there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968653)

They used the person's own dendrites and HIV for this trial - so no problem in this case.

Re:hold on there (5, Informative)

nucal (561664) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968691)

They are talking about dendritic cells [wikipedia.org] which are a component of the immune system - not neural tissue.

Re:hold on there (2, Informative)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968797)

You are confused on this point. Dendrites are the tree like extensions that project out from a neuron (these are not cells, but are a part of a cell). Dendritic cells (which they are using in this study) are antigen-presenting cells (APCs) from your immune system and have nothing to do with the nervous system (They are also sometimes referred to as Helper T Cells).

let me be the first to say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968577)

Everyone has AIDS!
AIDS AIDS AIDS!
AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS!
Everyone has AIDS!

And so this is the end of our story
And everyone is dead from AIDS
It took from me my best friend
My only true pal
My only bright star (he died of AIDS)

Well I'm gonna march on Washington
Lead the fight and charge the brigades
There's a hero inside of all of us
I'll make them see everyone has AIDS

My father (AIDS!)
My sister (AIDS!)
My uncle and my cousin and her best friend (AIDS AIDS AIDS!)
The gays and the straights
And the white and the spades

Everyone has AIDS!
My grandma and my dog 'ol blue (AIDS AIDS AIDS)
The pope has got it and so do you (AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS)
C'mon everybody we got quilting to do (AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS)
We gotta break down these barricades, everyone has
AIDS! x 20

Appropriate username for this topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968579)

Sexecutioner writing about AIDS. Hard to think of one more fitting.

Well... (3, Interesting)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968580)

I would think it might be a tad premature to be asking "Could this be it?".

It would be nice though.

Confused. (-1, Troll)

Starve (672909) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968588)

Now if only we'd focus on thing's that you can't control, such as Muscular Dystrophy :-( Of course this is nice but I dunno it just seems like a get out of jail free card for being irresponsible.

eh? (0, Offtopic)

goldcd (587052) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968713)

of course you can control MS if you want. Screen to see if you're a carrier and then either abstain, adopt or abort. Stop being a judgemental cunt anyway.

FDA approval? (2, Insightful)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968590)

How much you wanna bet that it won't be approved for use because, I don't know, say, it causes liver failure in 1% of the recipients or something.

Re:FDA approval? (3, Interesting)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968627)

LOL... look at the FDA's wonderful load of crap lately.. how many drugs have been pulled that the FDA said was ok? give me a break... the FDA in my opinion has turned into a load of shit...

and to add to that look how the government was trying to stop people from getting their drugs from canada.. and yet when the flu vaccine had a shortage here who did they get more vaccine from? oh yes. canada.. who's drugs you can't trust...

Re:FDA approval? (1)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968699)

i would rather take liver failure at 1%, than HIV and death at 100%.
last i knew, its possible to get a replacement liver,
and Jesus H. Christ has since been long gone from earth, to bring my ass back to life.

small potential error vs. nearly certian death...
i'd take my chances!
--kingpunk

Brains! (-1, Offtopic)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968592)

Wouldn't brain cells cause people to become zombies?

I Hope not. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968603)

It s horrible thing to say but I was hoping AIDS could push world population down to a mangeable level. Not to say individual loss of life isn't a traggic and wasteful thing but massive overpopulation is more death by environmetal poison, starvation, and maybe super-bugs in the long run.

Re:I Hope not. (3, Insightful)

riotstarter (650328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968722)

If you're really that concerned about over-population please kill yourself now. You'll be helping your own cause.

Re:I Hope not. (2, Insightful)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968751)

As long as it isn't you, right?

Cost (2, Interesting)

agarrett (803743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968605)

I sincerely hope this is it.
If it is, my only apprehension is that countries who need it most will not be able to afford it.

What's a dead virus? (3, Interesting)

alehmann (50545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968609)

I always hear about vaccines involving "dead" virus material. But I thought viruses weren't alive in the first place; that they were essentially protien envelopes containing viral DNA or RNA. Can anyone explain?

Re:What's a dead virus? (2, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968640)

I believe by dead, they mean that the virus can no longer replicate inside of the body.

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

gildesh (799552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968660)

IANAB (i am not a biologist) but I'm pretty sure that dead viruses are ones that do not have the DNA/RNA (whichever depending upon virus). Thus, they are just the protein shell.

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

TypoDaemon (43268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968665)

IIRC, extreme heat causes the protein shell to break up. Once this happens, you can take all the pieces and shove them into the body, and the immune system will recognize the whole virus in the future by learning from the fragments.

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968669)

I'd assume that it's a virus that's "broken" enough to be no longer able to infect host cells.

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968681)

WikiPedia to the rescue! [wikipedia.org]

I think the issue of a virus being alive is open to debate. I personally think they are, but I am not a bio-chem major or anything that would give me any credibility.

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968800)

How do you define "alive"? They reproduce, but only in the loosest sense (they hijack enzymes in existing cells to replicate, but they cannot reproduce on their own). They have no metabolic system, thus they consume no food and produce no waste. Really, the only thing a virus does that could qualify it as "life" is reproduce, but prions also reproduce, and we don't consider them to be alive (as far as I know, anyway).

Re:What's a dead virus? (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968694)

Maybe inactive is a more appropriate term.

Re:What's a dead virus? (4, Informative)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968762)

a dead virus is one that is no longer infective. your description of a virus is accurate, in that they are protein shells around genetic material (most of them, at least, some have enzymes in there and/or different shells)

From what I gather reading the actual article abstract [nature.com] , they're inactivating or killing them with a compound that breaks off small portions of the capsid (general idea abstracted here [aegis.com] ), but leaves the majority of the capsid intact. The slightly damaged capsid is unable to initiate infection, giving the host time to mount a defense against the real thing.

"Could this be it?" (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968611)

If they can make it for 30 cents per dose, maybe.

Re:"Could this be it?" (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968629)

Made from human dendrites DOES NOT equal .30 a dose.

Sexecutioner? (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968613)

I dont know, but if it is, does this mean you (The Sexecutioner) will be out of a job?

yummm.. (1)

whackco (599646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968614)

NO CARRIER...

aww...good try (0, Flamebait)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968615)

composed of human dendrites holding dead HIV viruses

Shouldn't it be "virii"?

Re:aww...good try (1)

siliconjunkie (413706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968680)

Shouldn't it be "virii"?

No, it shouldn't [linuxmafia.com]

Re:aww...good try (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968739)

I'm assuming you're trying to be funny...

New tool for Sexecutioner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968616)

The Sexecutioner must not be too happy now that one of his favourite 'tools' has been nerfed.

reducing viral load is a far cry from a cure folks (3, Insightful)

spacerodent (790183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968617)

THe real question is does its effect at combating the virus continue and improve? Dropping the viral load count dosn't mean much if it only works once and or dosn't ever wipe it out. Besides this sounds more like a treatment (which is more profitable) than a vaccine (which is what you get so you never get aids)

I hope so.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968621)

I really hope we're making progress on this, this virus is really killing a lot of people.. I also would love for some of these bigger viruses to be sorted with, then perhaps we can start working on the smaller, non-life threatening type viruses that we "live with" because they're not considered too threatening.

What I do fear though, is if we have a 'cure' then the fear of catching a deadly STD starts to fade away, even though there are other serious STD's out there still.

I remember being very afraid after waking up the next day.. then on I've been very careful and have been tested.. Simply don't want to trash more lives then my own if I did do something stupid.

THERAPEUTIC vaccine. (5, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968624)

You''ve got to have that word in there.

It's a vaccine because it "teaches" the immune system how to deal with HIV - at least to the extent of keeping it from getting worse, and in some percentage of cases, enough to drastically lower the viral load and rate of transmission.

But it's not a PREVENTIVE vaccine like most widespread vaccines, and it can't be mass-produced since it uses material from each patient and is custom-made for them.

It's still potentially a great leap in terms of treatment of HIV/AIDS, though.

There's a preventive vaccine already (0, Flamebait)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968798)

It's called, "Don't have sex with random people". Works fine for most of Earth's population.

tubgi8l (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968632)

FreeBSD is already During ,play, this

On a related matter. (2, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968633)

I just read this.

Apparently Brazil is ready to go ahead and break the patent of several drug companies because they can't afford to pay for them.

New drugs are great but only if you can afford to take them.

Vaccine like one all will get in ther future ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968659)

Vaccine all in the westen world can afford like most vacvine, and then last for a life time.

Thank God the /. community knows about it now... (1, Offtopic)

JamieF (16832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968667)

Shortly we'll hear about how someone has attach phase change cooling nanobots to the dendrites to allow them to be overclocked, and reduce the viral load by 90% in six months.

Then the lucite dendrites with cold cathode illuminated ribosomes will hit the market.

Then someone will build a nano-lego dendrite.

Then someone will make a stop action film of dendrites performing the Camelot song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Then someone will tell us all about how the Amiga had that same feature 20 years ago.

And finally, someone will announce an improved vaccine/therapy that eliminates HIV instantly, but it will link to goatse.

I'm out of order here, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968748)

The AMIGA must've had it 20 years ago.

Have you ever heard of an HIV-infected Amiga? Case closed.

great ....but there still a long road ahead (0, Troll)

scenestar (828656) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968672)

Its great and all that we have this vaccine, but the people of the world will still need proper education on the way the virus spread. religious leaders (especially african catholic bishops) are saying that condoms cannot prevent aids, also people like bush who say that th eonly way to prevent stds is abstinence. once we got rid of aids, we oughtta get rid of those religious conservatives, theyre not doing us any good

Time to quote the Peace Nobel Prize (0, Flamebait)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968676)

original source here... [abc.net.au]

Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, today reiterated her claim that the AIDS virus was a deliberately created biological agent.


"Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.

"Us black people are dying more than any other people in this planet," Ms Maathai told a press conference in Nairobi a day after winning the prize for her work in human rights and reversing deforestation across Africa.

"It's true that there are some people who create agents to wipe out other people. If there were no such people, we could have not have invaded Iraq," she said.

"We invaded Iraq because we believed that Saddam Hussein had made, or was in the process of creating agents of biological warfare," said Ms Maathai.

"In fact it (the HIV virus) is created by a scientist for biological warfare," she added.

"Why has there been so much secrecy about AIDS? When you ask where did the virus come from, it raises a lot of flags. That makes me suspicious," Ms Maathai said.

Africa accounts for 25 million out of the estimated 38 million across the world infected with HIV, and the vast majority of infected Africans are women, according to UNAIDS estimates.

The United States on Friday congratulated Ms Maathai on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but tempered its praise over her claims about AIDS.

"She said (HIV/AIDS) was invented as a bio-weapon in some laboratory in the West," a senior State Department official said.

"We don't agree with that."

The official pointed to a report of those comments published in August in Kenya's daily Standard newspaper, in which Ms Maathai was quoted as saying that HIV/AIDS was created by scientists for the purpose of mass extermination.

Practical Explanation? (5, Insightful)

katharsis83 (581371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968772)

Let's apply Occam's Razor here.

On one hand, we can claim that the West created a virus designed to kill Africans, but yet still somehow manages to kill millions in North America/Europe; not particularly effective from a genocide point of view.

Another, perhaps more practical point of view, is that sex education and safe-sex practices are far less common in Africa. The lack of knowledge about STD's and the absence of the rule of law in many parts of Africa would make a far more effective explanation.

If we take Ms. Maathai's explanation, then food must obviously also be a genetically engineered weapon, since millions more in Africa die from starvation than those in the West.

It's to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968803)

It's to decrease the surplus population!

- Scrooge

Yeah! (-1, Flamebait)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968678)

Hooray!

*throws away condoms and calls your mom.*

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968752)

Flamebait nothin- that was funny:)

Take that, Darwin (2, Insightful)

cwapface (835930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968686)

Curing pandemic diseases like HIV is not only a slap in the face of Darwin, but it can only cause more problems with overpopulation down the road. If no one died from anything except old age, would that be a perfect society or a hectic, crowded, unstable society?

But yeah, on a much smaller scale this is awesome, I don't think there is a person here who isn't connected to someone with HIV.

Worth reading the article... (4, Informative)

ramk13 (570633) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968695)

to catch the things that aren't in the summary.

This isn't a generic vaccine that's created in mass and given to everyone. The 'vaccine' is generated using viruses and dendrites from the specific patient. So it has to be done for each person. It reduces viral loads, but doesn't eliminate the infection.

Still it sounds really promising, but there's a LOT of work that would need to be done before this got anywhere close to general use. Also the article doesn't say how complex/expensive the process is per person. It doesn't sound like it's third world friendly, at least at the moment.

90% drop misleading (5, Informative)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968707)

While this study (Nature Medicine Advance On-line publications [nature.com] Subscription required) shows promise, it is only a preliminary trial that included 18 participants. Sixteen of the participants were female and two were male. The figure stated in the /. article, of a 90% total drop in viral load, is not quite accurate. The article states that the patients plasma viral load levels were decreased by 80% (median) over the first 112 days following immunization. It then goes on to say that a prolonged suppression of viral load (up to 1 year after inoculation) of 90% was seen in only 8 individuals.

From my analysis of the HIV RNA expression data from this paper, after 1 year, eight of the patients had viral loads reduced by 90% or better, two patients had their viral loads reduced between 80% and 90% six patients had viral loads that were reduced somewhere between 10% and 50% and two of the patients actually had an increase in plasma HIV RNA levels.

what about (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968711)

What about cancer? Atleast with HIV we know what causes it, and what prevents it, but with cancer....

D&D (0)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968714)

The 'vaccine' is really just a potion of greater restoration.

Thank you, Garry Gygax for inventing that shizz!

Just in time for World AIDS Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968717)

Wow. Good timing [worldaidsday.org] .

But (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968718)

the person who emailed me this morning said that an HIV cure was made from crocidiles, and it can also be SARS. He emailed me without me asking and used very poor grammar and a lot of random characters and offered no real scientific arguments, just a lot of jargon, so he must be a real scientist!

Now What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968735)

Are homosexuals going to do to self-destruct? More drugs? It's an evolutionary imperative, since they're a dead-end.

Can't believe it (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968738)

After seeing that paralyzed woman walk for the first time, now this?

Its a uber week BUT how concrete is their statement? Ah...

Difference between vaccine and medicine (1)

HvitRavn (813950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968740)

Is this a vaccine or a medicine? There is a difference, isn't it? A vaccine is meant to build immune defence, while medicine fixes the body when the damage has already been done. So which one is it? I see contradicting comments, so it would be nice to have this cleared up.

Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10968774)

No.

Forget about it (4, Insightful)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968791)

Great idea : it may be of use for patient with resistance to all known anti-retrovirals. But...

It is NOT a vaccine. It is NOT a cure. It's a temporary (at best) treatment. The title is highly misleading. And its far from practical. You need to isolate dendritic cells from an (infected) patient, which is costly, require specific equipment and isn't trivial (forget developing countries, which can't even afford AZT). Then you pulse these cells with killed HIV, which I assume should come from the patient (else soon the treatment will go ineffective due to mutations acquired by the virus) and you reinject the cells, which will go 'alert' the immune system that something is wrong. So mass scale treatment is out of question. Basically, you're only boosting the (ineffective) immune system against HIV-1. After a year, their treatment reduced viral load by 90% in 8 of 18 patients. 90% isn't a lot (anti-retroviral do a lot better than that), and they aren't even achieving 50% success after a year. I would imagine that after 2 or 3 years, the success rate is even lower. And the CD4 count is stable, not increasing to normal levels.

So no, its not 'it'. Don't hold your breath either.

In Korea ... (-1)

TheDetrino (835951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968793)

In Korea, only old people have HIV.

you'll know when its it. (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10968796)

"Could this be it?"

You'll know when its it. To quote the late great Bill Hicks, when there's a one shot cure for AIDs they'll be fucking in the streets.

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