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HIV Vaccine Ready For Clinical Trials

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the go-science-go-science dept.

Biotech 385

amigoro writes with the happy news that a possible vaccine against HIV is nearing readiness for clinical trials. The compound could provide a 'double whammy' by not only inoculating the patient against future infection, but destroying an HIV infection in progress. "The vaccine is an artificial virus-like particle whose outer casing consists of the TBI (T- and B cell epitopes containing immunogen) protein constructed by the researchers combined with the polyglucin protein. This protein contains nine components stimulating different cells of the immune system: both the ones that produce antibodies and the ones that devour the newcomer."

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z0MG FRIST POAST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943295)

lawlz

He who gets AIDS deserves to get AIDS... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943485)

...if you got it, you shouldn't have been sleeping around. A sad society that we live in today--no one takes anything with any reverence.

Re:He who gets AIDS deserves to get AIDS... (5, Insightful)

bcreason (1120111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943561)

Tell that crap to a medical worker who got aids from an accidental needle prick or the woman who got it from her husband. Sanctimonious SOB.

Re:He who gets AIDS deserves to get AIDS... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943741)

Troll? I guess the puritans got mod points today...

But what if youv got the AIDS? (4, Funny)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943299)

...not HIV but full blown aids?

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (2, Informative)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943333)

Then you are fucked.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943359)

+1 Informative

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (0)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943389)

You have AIDS.
Yes, you have AIDS.
I hate to tell you, boy, you have AIDS.
You got the AIDS.
You may have caught it when you stuck that filthy needle in here.
Or maybe all that unprotected sex which we hear.
It isn't clear, but what we're certain of is that you have AIDS.
Yes, you have AIDS.
Not HIV, but full-blown AIDS.
Be sure that you see that this is not HIV, but full blown AIDS.
Not HIV, but full-blown AIDS.
I'm sorry, I wish it was something less serious, but it's AIDS.
You've got the AIDS.

C'mon, it's Family Guy [advocate.com] ! (worksafe article but on a gay/transgender advocacy site)

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (-1, Flamebait)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943467)

HIV and AIDS are related only by definition and there is still debate if they really have anything to do with each other. HIV is possibly harmless, like most retrovirus. That being said, an HIV vaccine might have no effect on AIDS or the AIDS epidemic.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943501)

I have not heard such a thing, could you post some sources please?

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

bcreason (1120111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943593)

He must be one of them thar HIV deniers. Thinks that AIDS is God's punishment on the unrighteous but if he sleeps with a virgin he can be cured. :^)

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (-1, Flamebait)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943601)

First I wont say whole heartedly agree with any of this, but that there are some interesting ideas from very knowledgeable individuals that show the link between HIV and AIDS may not be as cut and dry as the public has been lead to believe. Wikipedia, though not a definitive source is a good place to start [wikipedia.org] . The most prominent detractor of the HIV/AIDS view is probably Peter Duesberg, who you can easily look up. As a bit of a side note, Colloidal silver, which has been available for some time, may already be a valid treatment or cure for HIV (but again treating HIV might be on no use at all)

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

Jaidan (1077513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943735)

Sounds great...I think I'll try some of that colloidal silver you recommend! I'm mean you can't be too safe right? Oh wait when I finish taking that colloidal silver I might end up looking something like this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_alien [wikipedia.org] . That's not so bad though a little case of Argyria doesn't kill you...but maybe I shouldn't be getting medical advice from an AIDS denier......

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943757)

I appreciate the wiki link, lots of information if you follow the white rabbit into the link hole. After my first couple articles it's not looking great for the not-HIV side, IMHO. (not that my opinion means anything, it doesn't) :-)

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943605)

could you post some sources please?

It's probably a troll - but there are plenty of AIDS denialists around.

About the only vaguely credible source for the non-HIV origin of AIDS is Prof Peter Duesberg, and his theory has been debunked multiple times. Google his name for links.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943575)

HIV and AIDS are related only by definition and there is still debate if they really have anything to do with each other. HIV is possibly harmless, like most retrovirus. That being said, an HIV vaccine might have no effect on AIDS or the AIDS epidemic.

Wrong. It is possible to have HIV without having full-blown AIDS (the qualification for the disease is to have a certain quota of viral particles in a sample of your blood.) If your viral count reaches this arbitrary number, you are considered to have AIDs. Likewise, if your viral count goes down, you may no longer have AIDS, but you are still HIV-positive.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (2, Interesting)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943627)

It is possible to have HIV without having full-blown AIDS (the qualification for the disease is to have a certain quota of viral particles in a sample of your blood.)
The definition of AIDS is having all the associated symptoms and being HIV positive. This is what I mean by HIV and AIDS being associated only by definition. If someone has all the symptoms of AIDS, CD4+ T Lymphocyte count, but is not HIV positive then they are not labeled as having AIDS. This has only been true since the acceptance of the link between HIV and AIDS.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943587)

The parent post is full of complete horse manure.

HIV = human immunodeficiency virus

AIDS = acquired immmunodeficiency syndrome

HIV is a virus that in its later stages causes a lack of immune response which is then labeled AIDS.

A retrovirus means the virus integrates itself into the host's genetic information. This is NOT harmless. A huge portion of cancers are thought to be linked to retrovirus insertion into our DNA. Whether it's UV light or virii, having something mess with your DNA is never to be desired.

Blatant fucking idiot.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (0, Flamebait)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943701)

A retrovirus means the virus integrates itself into the host's genetic information. This is NOT harmless.
Not only is it often harmless, retrovirus have been known to be beneficial. Retrovirus contain RNA which through reverse transcription modifies the hosts DNA. Large portions of DNA are useless garbage only there as place holders. If the Retrovorus modifies the useless space, introns, without modifying placement of the useful space, exons, then the retrovirus has no effect on the resulting mRNA. This is introductory genetics, and can be easily researched for free.

having something mess with your DNA is never to be desired.
My only guess is that the AC who posted this does not believe in evolution, or believes evolution is never beneficial. But then again it's an AC so why should I care.

Again I'm not trying to justify either view of the HIV/AIDS debate, just clarifying some information in the previous comment.

Re:But what if youv got the AIDS? (5, Insightful)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943765)

Retrovirus contain RNA which through reverse transcription modifies the hosts DNA. Large portions of DNA are useless garbage only there as place holders.
I'm not sure that our relatively rudimentary understanding of genetics is capable of supporting this assertion. While introns are certainly excised during transcription, to suggest that they, and other non-coding sequences, are "useless garbage" is probably not a scientific viewpoint. While it may seem that non-coding portions of DNA simply serve as placeholders at our currently level of understanding, it is perhaps possible that these repeating sequences are part of a secondary code that serves a useful (but as yet unclear) function. IANAGeneticist, but I believe that the jury is still out on the concept of "junk DNA".

Of course, it's entirely possible that the code is indeed useless, but that would seem to go against the tendency of evolution to be frugal.

he's kind of correct (3, Interesting)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943767)

AIDS and HIV were once considered separate. The definition of AIDS was modified to require HIV.

That sucks. What about all the people with Aquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes from other causes? There are chemicals that can do it, and many other causes as well. Now that the definition of AIDS has been modified, do these people no longer have Aquired Immonodeficiency Syndromes? They're all healthy and OK now?

Furthermore, if that's all AIDS means anymore, why do we even need the term? For other infections, we don't have a separate name. If you are infected with tuberculosis and then start coughing, we don't change the description to Aquired Coughing Syndrome (ACS).

hmm... (1, Insightful)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943305)

With the price of a year's treatment for AIDS in America approaching or exceeding $100k, I wonder how long it will be before this vaccine is 1. killed, 2. publicly smeared by pharmacos NOT producing it, or 3. price jacked to infinity. I hope it's none of the above, but....

Re:hmm... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943335)

How long will it be before the pharmacutical corps realize they can distribute their wonder drug to actual victims in Africa without getting through all the FDA red tape for sale in America?

Re:hmm... (5, Insightful)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943357)

America isn't the world. With HIV being such a high profile disease, there is no way an effective vaccine will be slowed or stopped by politics and bullshit.

Re:hmm... (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943407)

America isn't the world.
what?

Re:hmm... (2, Insightful)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943665)

there is no way an effective vaccine will be slowed or stopped by politics and bullshit.


what?

Re:hmm... (1)

dkarma (985926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943679)

yeah you've got to be kidding.

everything is stopped by politics and bullshit what makes you think that this is any different?

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943703)

I guess the Republican plot to kill Africa and Gays will soon be defeated.

Re:hmm... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943855)

With HIV being such a high profile disease, there is no way an effective vaccine will be slowed or stopped by politics and bullshit.

Yeah, it's not like paranoid schizophrenia where "human" "scientists" have known the cure for ages but they've kept it secret to protect their grant money.

Re:hmm... (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943361)

That is a rather cynical way to look at things and it is understandable, however I think that you're waaaaay off base with this one. If this vaccine actually works, I don't think that any government anywhere would allow it to die or be smeared. If anything as it has gone for most major diseases before it, they will probably make the vaccine required with government subsidized funding. Really, sometimes it is actually about helping people and not making more money than Mr. Jones.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943413)

Really, sometimes it is actually about helping people and not making more money than Mr. Jones.

 
you could very well be amazingly naive. if you really think about it, you would admit fully that 99% of for profit organizations are about making as much profit as is legally possible. with that being said, do you really think the decision makers in these very same businesses would be willing to let that extra money slip through their fingers just to help some john doe they've never met nor seen?
 
yes, it's true, there are still some genuine and honest people out there that want to help people they don't even know, but, generally, they aren't board members of a drug company.
 
in the end, the vast majority of people prefer money in their pockets over helping mr. doe with his ailments. if you think that will change on a large scale, you are naive.

Re:hmm... (5, Interesting)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943483)

Look, I'm not being naive about this. When it comes to your run of the mill diseases such as restles legs, baldness, chronic heartburn, yeah Big Pharma is going to squeeze you for all your worth. However when it comes to the truly life threatening, the stuff that will, not may, but will kill you they aren't so stone hearted as you seem to believe. Case in point, my mother is dying from bone cancer. There is no cure and a very very very small chance that she is going to live long enough for her grandkids to get to know her. The oh so Evil money grubbing Big Pharma of your world gives her the medication that she needs to have a chance at surviving. They don't charger her a penny, and it's not cheap therapy. Each pill is over 50US dollars(we live in the US by the way), they know that there is going to be no return on that investment since she can't afford the medication but they give it anyway. Sure there may be some ulterior motive, but really I doubt it because no matter what angle I look at it I don't see how they are really going to get anything out of it whether she lives or dies other than the fact that if she lives it'll be one more statistic for their success charts which really don't prove that it was that medication that cured her. Why do you think that the medication is so expensive here in the States? They have to make money somehow so for the people that can afford it, even marginally they are going to charge you through the nose. However all that extra money you put in sometimes goes on to help someone that would not have received that kind of aid in the first place. So no, in cases with life threatening diseases they're not always about the money, sometimes it really is about helping someone who needs(not wants) it. If this works and that's a strong if the government is going to really pony up some money for it, because for some things they really don't have any other choice.

Re:hmm... (2, Interesting)

karmatic (776420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943615)

I'm not going to badmouth them, and I think that providing medicine to those who cannot afford it is a good thing.

As for an "ulterior motive", there may be some tax advantages to it, and at the very least, it's not much of a cost. R&D and advertising are a good part of the cost of a pill; there's no profit in selling to those who can't afford it. Many drugs have a very low cost per-pill to produce, and by not passing on the advertising/R&D costs, the free medication won't make much of a difference on the bottom line. Accordingly, it makes sense from an ethical standpoint to provide those for free, especially if it's possible to get tax deductions for doing so. If not, there are intangible benefits to be had as well.

Of course, from a macro standpoint, _everyone_ does things for their own gain (including "pure" charity) - sometimes the reward is simply knowing that the world is more as you would like it (i.e. a better place). I'd also say that "you can't put a price on goodwill", but in accounting, they most certainly can.

Re:hmm... (1)

theFireOfEternalDesi (991304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943421)

price jacked to infinity. So what if people pay every last penny they have for the thing? It's better than dying from it.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943515)

Well, TFA says it's been produced by Russians. Even if clinical trials work out 100% that will mean jack s**it for the US corporations if the vaccine is not approved by the FDA. Wanna bet which way the lobbying will go? seeing as this not only cures, but immunizes as well, so it will outright kill the HIV 'treatment' cash cow over here.

It's not like HIV would be the first disease you had to take a trip abroad to treat properly.

Re:hmm... (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943549)

With the price of a year's treatment for AIDS in America approaching or exceeding $100k, I wonder how long it will be before this vaccine is 1. killed, 2. publicly smeared by pharmacos NOT producing it, or 3. price jacked to infinity. I hope it's none of the above, but....

How about we begin by naming a effective vaccine that was killed by the drug companies? How about in reporting on an AIDS we link to something more persuasive than a blog? National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Ongoing HIV vaccine trials [nih.gov]

Re:hmm... (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943695)

Are you serious? The pharmaceutical companies would make a killing off producing this vaccine - no researchers would be able to manufacture tens of thousands if not millions of doses.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943725)

Yeah right.

When I bought my insurance, the only disease they explicitly tested me for was AIDs. I had to take an HIV test. Even if it cost $50K per dose it would be cheaper than the disease.

A working HIV vaccine will BANK SERIOUS COIN for whoever sells it. And I'm sure there will be myriad variations patented on this. Hell I could imagine joint ventures among big pharma, just to share in the BILLIONS that come pouring in when every man, woman, and child gets this vaccine. Governments will subsidize it. It ain't gonna get disappeared.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943859)

You're forgetting that pretty much all countries except USA have socialized medicine. This means that it is in their best interests to provide medicine as cheap as possible, unlike the profit-driven industry in USA.

Rest assured that if it's real, a few piddly shit companies in the USA won't be able to stifle its development.

What are the odds? (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943309)

I mean, what if the vaccine fails to work? Are you then doomed for life in such a case? I know that the AIDS viruses employed in the vaccine are extremely weak, but again, what if all this fails to work? AIDS is no joke guys!

Re:What are the odds? (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943329)

actually, it is. its been 22.3 years.

Re:What are the odds? (3, Informative)

Spyrus (633357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943347)

This isn't a cowpox vaccine -- it does not contain any living or dead viral material. Read the article, please. You won't get HIV or AIDS from a synthetic protein.

Re:What are the odds? (3, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943349)

What virus? if what the article says is correct (and im understanding it properly), the vaccine is a "virus-like particle" which has the major HIV protein markers and coatings, that are common across all strains of HIV (but lacks any actual RNA to inject into cells). The marker's will hopefully trigger the immune system to build resistance. Now that thats out of the way, this sounds kinda fishy. It's one thing to come up with a vaccine, but it also claims to be a cure for HIV infections that have already taken place. As much as I wish that was true, it seems so improbable that the first 'cure' for a viral infection that we ever develope is not only vaccine, but also against what is possibly the deadliest virus lying around.

Re:What are the odds? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943573)

It's one thing to come up with a vaccine, but it also claims to be a cure for HIV infections that have already taken place.

You've explained why yourself.

Once the immune system can recognise the HIV markers, it will kill any HIV infected cells which match those markers. That means it will kill existing infections as well as any new virions entering the body.

The key claim is that the eighty proteins matching HIV's structure are unique enough that the virus won't be able to evolve resistance. The only other problem might be that this vaccine will be too complex to be mass produced.

Re:What are the odds? (1)

carpe.cervisiam (900585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943687)

It seems so improbable that the first 'cure' for a viral infection that we ever develope is not only vaccine, but also against what is possibly the deadliest virus lying around.
I think that would be ebola, or marburg.

Re:What are the odds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943493)

AIDS is no joke guys!


Wow, that's so inspiring and insightful. I bet you hope to get modded up for your great post. What if you dont? Are you then doomed to be insignificant bogaboga on Slashdot that no-one knows about? What if your plan fails to work? Karma whoring is not a joke, bogaboga!

Not going to happen. (0, Troll)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943311)

If it's not addictive, and not something that infected person's have to take for the rest of their lives, I just don't think the drug companies will approve.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943331)

Right, because no company ever makes vaccines for anything, ever. I can't imagine that anyone would want an HIV vaccine, so it must have no commercial value.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943367)

yes you can make money from a cure but you can make a lot more money from treatment. ask the drug companies if theyd prefer 100k a year for 20 years or a one off fee that they couldnt justify as being anywhere near that much.

Re:Not going to happen. (2, Insightful)

SpaceballsTheUserNam (941138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943641)

Ya but only a small number of people in the U.S. need the treatment. Everyone is gonna need to get vaccinated though.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943683)

ask the drug companies if theyd prefer 100k a year for 20 years or a one off fee that they couldnt justify as being anywhere near that much.
Uh.. of course they could justify it. A cure is worth a lot more than a temporary treatment.

What you're ignoring is competition. There's more than one drug company out there, and they want to steal each other's profits. If Pharmex is selling the $100k/yr non-cure, PillCo will want a share of that market, and the way to get it is to sell something better. If PillCo sells the cure for a one-time price of $500k, that's still $500k they weren't getting before - it's in their interest to sell it. Financially, they're even ahead of their competitors for the first 5 years, and they can invest that money and use it to come up with something else to sell 5 years later.

Testing? (1, Funny)

Secacat (1096785) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943319)

How would you test this?

Screw AIDS patients and see if you get sick? /headsmack D'oh! I was in the placebo group!

Re:Testing? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943363)

They'll probably give it to a bunch of Africans. The last few times I heard a sentence that ended "... is ineffective for treating HIV.", it's always been something that was being tested on Africans.
Prison populations might also work, however.

Re:Testing? (1)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943523)

I would assume they'd test it on high-risk candidates. Gay men seeking HIV positive partners (saw something, I think it was on HBO, about gay men who are actually trying to infect themselves as some sort of self punishment), spouses who are married to someone with HIV, possibly prostitutes, intravenous drug users, etc. Basically, people who have a reasonable chance of contracting the disease through their every day lives already.

You can't ethically ask those people to try to get infected after receiving the vaccine, but you can analyze the statistics between traditional rates of infection, infection in the vaccine group and infection in the placebo group (which should line up with the traditional rate and I'm assuming they'd still want to do a placebo group as a control, maybe offering them the real vaccine after the trial as part of their compensation).

On a side note, for the cynical amongst us who think pharms won't create a vaccine for a common virus, they did create a vaccine for some forms of HPV that lead to cervical cancer. Also, even if a drug isn't produced in the US, the company will still patent it to prevent competitors from duplicating and selling the product... but that won't stop foreign entities who don't care about US patents from producing it... and if a foreign body produces it and you can't get it in the US, there will be a pretty massive outrage and pressure brought to bring it to market.

You can participate in the clinical trials now! (5, Informative)

Spyrus (633357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943323)

http://vrc.nih.gov/clintrials/clinstudies.htm [nih.gov] These are ongoing safety trials at the National Institutes of Health.

Sad.. (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943341)

People are just making crass jokes and whining rather than actually recognising that this is a great step in the right direction for finding a cure/prevention for AIDs. I hope that all the cynicism about drug companies ensuring it never gets out is unfounded...

Re:Sad.. (1)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943343)

People are just making crass jokes and whining rather than actually recognising that this is a great step in the right direction for finding a cure/prevention for AIDs.
you must be new here

Re:Sad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943365)

you're exceedingly naive. selling a drug that cures the disease isnt a good business strategy. you need something that keeps the patient coming back, this is what 'treatment' has become. im not going to be a /. tard and draw random analogies, instead, ill just leave you with this.

$.

Re:Sad.. (1)

Thyrteen (1084963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943403)

People see alot of addiction sometimes, but that's really the biological result of many effective drugs by the way they alter neurotransmitter flow. You saturate a receptor because your body's not doing enough of it or something, and then your body stops producing the chemical altogether since you're now giving ample supply. The part about them encouraging doctors to prescribe their medications via incentives at times is something I wouldn't agree with at all though. medication might be needed sometimes, but it's much more rare than it's given out now. I feel as though I could think up a phrase to get prescribed anything, and I think people subconciously (or conciously) do this often too. Besides, people don't need to buy the medications if they don't want to. It's not the drug company's fault in the extreme, since when you know something is wrong with you, wouldn't you consider it your one and only duty to find out what it is and how you need to cope with it most effectively? Lack of critical thinking by consumers is what causes this.

Re:Sad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943639)

Indeed. I for one have no problem whatsoever with addictive drugs. If you do, then surely you haven't taken enough?

Re:Sad.. (-1, Troll)

pdwalker (113292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943823)

that this is a great step in the right direction for finding a cure/prevention for AIDs.

The technique for the prevention of AIDs is already well known and well proven. It's got a 100% effective prevention rate.

It's called abstinence.

Other techniques, such as not engaging in risky activities are also highly effective.

Good For All Forms of Medicine (0)

detain (687995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943405)

If this type of treatment is both A) Approved and B) Works, this is a giant leap in medicines. It would seem that this same type of approach can be taken into other areas such as cancers. The big problem it seems here is alot of research was needed before they were able to get the proper protiens and desired parts of the HIV virus.

For something like cancer where this data is probably already around, if this HIV vaccine proves effective, it might only be a small matter of time before we see giant leaps in curing cancer and other things.

The big problem is going to come when other companies try to develop ontop of this research and run into patent problems. Its going to really hurt us if people cant take this methodology for treatment and apply it to other areas of medicine because of a silly patent.

Re:Good For All Forms of Medicine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943453)

Not quite.

Though the HIV virus mutates and copies tend to be unique to the person who carries the virus, there are still major hallmarks to the virus. Specifically, its protein structure. That one part of the virus has not changed in all these years. That's why the vaccines target the protein structure.

Cancer is an issue because it consists of cells growing rapidly and out of control, cells from your own body, thus they are cells made out of your own DNA. Your immune system does not fight cancer because your immune system would also have to attack all other, healthy cells in your own body. It has no way of telling the difference, because... essentially, there really isn't much difference. Cells that die within normal time versus cells that don't die when they're supposed to.

The problem with cancer treatment is that often involves cutting through and out parts of our own body, hard to detect from normal cells (especially brain cancer when tumours/cancer looks exactly like your own brain's healthy matter), radiation kills your immune system and there really isn't anything that you can do to stimulate the immune system to target cancerous cells for the reason I described in the previous paragraph.

Cure or significantly effective treatment for HIV, I expect to see even within my lifetime. Cancer? I'm afraid that aside from developing better methods of detection and pretty darn effective treatment options, cancer is going to be the last thing we're ever going to be able to cure with a shot or a pill. If ever.

Always check the article source... (5, Interesting)

Liberaltarian (1030752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943411)

Anyone else rather skeptical of the origins of the article?

1. Google News isn't showing anything else on this (aside from this very /. post!)
2. The claims it is making about the vaccine are astounding and are, unless you have a paid subscription to the single medical journal article referenced, unverifiable. Neither are there any quotes attributed to anyone.
3. The site in question is not even a hard news site; it appears to however be chock full of dressed up press releases by non-profits.

As promising as this "article" may read, there's no evidence that we should take these claims seriously.

Yes, please tell them to wake me... (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943473)

after the clinical trials are done.

We've seen these kinds of claims before (in HIV research, cold fusion, and many other areas).

Here the only source is "a group of Russian researchers." How about some peer review before we get all excited?

Re:Yes, please tell them to wake me... (4, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943761)

Peer Review? It preliminary research was published in a peer reviewed journal. I found it in PubMed and gave it a read. I didn't understand much though, but on first glance it looks legit...as far as it goes. I mean, the results are promising but preliminary.

Re:Always check the article source... (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943509)

I'm somewhat skeptical too. I mean this isn't just an aids cure they are talking about. As far as I know the procedure talked about in the article is a dramatically new way to fight viruses if it's true.

On the topic of pharmico's covering up a vaccine I don't find that likely. Vaccines are for people who aren't sick yet after all. An HIV vaccine would likely become a medical requirement for every 1st world country on the planet.

Re:Always check the article source... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943579)

I have a subscription:

http://pastebin.com/f406eb7f9 [pastebin.com]

Re:Always check the article source... (4, Informative)

flashmorbid (890326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943827)

The page itself is pretty obviously not a high traffic news site; i almost mistook it for a genric squatter site. This is all goooogle turned up http://www.citeulike.org/article/1423027 [citeulike.org] (that's not a squatter page either). The link from TFA is pretty legit, http://www.springerlink.com/content/h0u280742k2530 6p/ [springerlink.com] . Clearly a paper was written in some obscure Russian science journal and reprinted in english, and then this article surfaces out of the blue about said paper. There wouldn't be any quotes because the only source is the paper itself. Since the paper itself costs money to look at, and I don't know anything about the source journal, or how thorough its peer reviews are (not could I find anything out except from that one link from TFA), it's at least within the realm of possibility that the paper is exaggerated or even totally bogus. But jeez, look at all those names.

"Not only" is wrong way round (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943433)

... not only inoculating the patient against future infection, but destroying an HIV infection in progress.

Shouldn't that be 'not only destroying an HIV infection in progress, but inoculating the patient against future infection'? If the current infection isn't destroyed, what is the use of future immunity? And does 'immunity' even have meaning in that case?

Re:"Not only" is wrong way round (3, Insightful)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943537)

If the current infection isn't destroyed, what is the use of future immunity? And does 'immunity' even have meaning in that case?
Actually, *most* vaccines on the market are designed to produce a response against future exposure rather than treating a current infection - that's exactly what immunity means in medical terms. It would be worthless to immunize against most diseases after they've been contracted anyway, since the body has already been presented with immunogens and should be developing a response; HIV/AIDS is a special case because of A) its success at avoiding effective immune response and B) its ability to destroy the immune response.

An HIV vaccine would, depending on price and risks, most likely be distributed to those who do not yet have the disease but may be at high risk. Since some of the highest risk patients (people who engage in unprotected sex and IV drug users) are less likely to go tell their doc they need it, let's hope it gets cheap and safe enough to make it a mandatory childhood shot!

Resistance (1)

Myria (562655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943437)

The virus's life depends on getting around such a cure - it will evolve to evade the cure. In only takes one copy of the virus in one person out of millions to randomly have a resistant strain.

Re:Resistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943507)

You are right. But I'd rather have a small group of people that were capable of spreading a resistant strain then millions of people capable of spreading a disease with no cure. If the technique is good it could possibly be adapted for more specific immune strains, etc. One of the main ways to get a disease or virus under control is to decrease the number of carriers to something managable.

Re:Resistance (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943681)

Actually from the sound of it they're targeting the point of infection rather than the infection itself.

I guess the analogy is similar to locking the door instead of leaving it unlocked and open. If the virus cant spread anywhere then it's going to die.

Re:Resistance (1)

do_kev (1086225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943731)

That depends on how they're taking out the virus. If they're hitting them in a multitude of paths at the same time, survival could require spontaneously adapting to all of those changes at the exact same time without the benefit of selection (they would all have to occur at once if all of your targets were lethal to the virus). In theory such a treatment is feasibly likely to get rid of HIV. Whether they have such a treatment is a different story.

Facts about HIV and Negroes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943461)

Negroes will surely welcome this progress, because after homosexuals, Negroes carry more AIDS than any other group.

Blacks are 30 times more likely to have Gonorrhea than whites and 11 times more likely to have it than Hispanics. A large majority of all Americans infected with Gonorrhea are black, despite making up only 13% of the population. Source: CDC [cdc.gov]

Black women are 7 times more likely to have Chlamydia than white women and 2 times more likely than Hispanic women. Source: CDC. [cdc.gov]

Blacks are 5.4 times more likely to have Syphilis. Source: CDC. [cdc.gov]

Blacks are 15.7 times more likely to have congenital Syphilis than whites. Source: Source CDC [cdc.gov]

Black women are 24 times more likely to have AIDS than white women. Source: OMH [omhrc.gov]

Black men (including gays) are 8 times more likely to have AIDS than white men (including gays). Source: OMH [omhrc.gov] This disparity approximately doubles when gays are excluded. Source: Kaiser Foundation. [kff.org]

Blacks in general are 10 times more likely to have AIDS than whites, and the disparity is growing each year. Among teenagers diagnosed with AIDS, 66% are black. A staggering 67% of new AIDS cases among women are among black women. A study found that 2.2% of all blacks in the US were HIV positive between 1997-2002. AIDS is the 3rd leading cause of death for young African Americans. Source: Kaiser Foundation. [kff.org]

In 2002, AIDS became the #1 leading cause of death for young black in the US. Femicide [cofcc.org] is another leading cause of death among young black women. Source: Kaiser Foundation. [kff.org]

Re:Facts about HIV and Negroes (1)

Coleon (946269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943663)

This data can be true, but you have to consider why this is true.
Thanks God im not Northamerican, LOL, so i can tell you from another perspective.
Another fact is that less educated people got more Venereal Disease and the lower incomme are the less educated.
Nowadays, US has a great problem of Unemployment and a poor education quality. So maybe if you see those facts you can understand why Afroamercian and Latinamerican people are the most afected by AIDS.

I lost my job, no way. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943471)

No mother fucker, I didn't Louisiana Brain Death in a conspiracy!

cue resistant strains? (0, Redundant)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943495)

I wonder if this has been tested enough to see if the virus evolves past it

Shweet (5, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943503)

Slashdot: Curing AIDS once a month since 1997.

Re:Shweet (5, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943817)

Don't be silly, Slashdot doesn't cure AIDS.
It just reduces your chances of exposure.

YAWN... (0)

ktulus cry (607800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943517)

Hate to be a skeptic, but wake me when they publish in a journal that can be peer reviewed by the English-speaking world. Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics? My subscription must have lapsed.

Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics is in English (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943599)

Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics is a bimonthly journal containing English translations of current Russian research from the biochemistry section of the Doklady Akademii Nauk (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences). The Proceedings appear 36 times per year; articles from the biochemistry section are collected, translated, and published in 6 issues per year. Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics publishes the most significant new research in biochemistry being done in Russia today, ensuring its scientific priority. Doklady Biochemistry & Biophysics [ovid.com]

The Omega Point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943565)

An infinite number of reused 640k and Balmer Chair jokes to bore everyone to death in one instant. Awesome.

I needa drank, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943617)

Can [ucando.org] I [typepad.com] drink [decaturspirits.com] my [imdb.com] vaccine [blogspot.com] ?

Woohoo! (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943631)

As a homosexual, I must say this is great news! I really hate condoms, and this new vaccine will eliminate the need for them! We can go back to the glory days of the 70s, when you could just have sex with anyone you wanted to, with no consequences.

Are you joking? (2, Informative)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943655)

Being gay doesn't increase your chances of AIDS... And there are still other STDs, so your out of luck for bringing back the "glory days"...

Re:Are you joking? (2, Insightful)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943865)

Being gay might not increase your chances of getting HIV (-> AIDS), but having gay sex might. The reasons are:
  - more tissue trauma in receptive anal sex
  - more promiscuity in gay community in general

HIV has recently become more transmissible during vaginal intercourse too (possibly through its fairly rapid evolution) though so it may catch up, but until the straight community becomes as promiscuous as the gay one, the transmission rate will remain lower.

Re:Woohoo! (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943715)

I guess if you like hepatitis (incurable, destroys your liver, and often causes cancer), herpes (incurable), and numerous other nasty things... then yeah! Fuck away!

Cancer is an astrological sign, right? That makes it good. Liver is yucky anyway, even with onions.

Re:Woohoo! (0, Flamebait)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943843)

As a homosexual, I must say this is great news! I really hate condoms, and this new vaccine will eliminate the need for them! We can go back to the glory days of the 70s, when you could just have sex with anyone you wanted to, with no consequences.

I don't know if you were kidding or not but this is exactly the reaction I'm afraid of if this vaccine works. I mean, it will be great if a cure can be created from this to save the millions of people in Africa who have contracted HIV and for the people in Africa who don't already have HIV to be given the vaccine, but to give a vaccine to certain people who don't already have HIV it just says to me that if not properly controlled some people will use it in a bad way, just like anything can be used in a bad way. It probably will be exploited but I hope it does not. The first cases of AIDS were associated with gay men (coincidence? I don't know) and although HIV may have a different origin this would just allow homosexual activity to run rampant again (of course there are still other STDs).

About Pharmaceutical Industry (2, Interesting)

Coleon (946269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943645)

US has one of the most restrictive laws in the world in relation with Pharmaceutical patents. The Pharmaceutical Industry (PI) get the patents for so long that you have to pay great amounts of money because there are no generic alternatives. The governement authorizes abusive practices.
In fact WTO tries to impose protections for the pharmaceuticals in "third world" countries. Any time US negotiate a new commerce treaty with any "third world" they impose those conditions.
But has been some changes, in Africa some drugs can be declared a "priority" for the Health System so the Lab HAS to give the patent to the gobernement so he can produce a low price drug to be distributed.

Another Thing is that de PI dont make trials in US, they do it on other countries and when the drug is safe to be sold, they come to the FDA in the US and the ask for permision. Of course those "other countries" are South America or Africa and of course not always the drugs are safe to be sold but the PI can pay very well to the FDA guys.

horray! (0)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943657)

Sweet, with a cure right around the corner I can sleep easier at night after bangin hos from the PJs.

Of course! (1)

keithburgun (1001684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943661)

IMMUNOGEN! Why didn't we think of it sooner!

Not the first... (5, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943669)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , there are 17 candidates in phase I trials, four in phase I/II, and one in phase III.

That same article mentions that there is a great degree of diversity in HIV, meaning one HIV vaccine won't protect against all strains.

Idiots should die. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943689)

Neat. So now we have the problem where a bunch of humping idiots are going to be alive instead of following the rules of nature. GREAT!

Hey inconsiderate scum. (1)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943805)

What about the people who got it from tainted blood transfusions, or their parents, or something equally not their fault?

Yeah, I realize that you're a cone, but there's enough cones in this comment tree that it needs to be said.

Pessimistic about this... (5, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943753)

As someone who has actually worked on an HIV vaccine (a plasmid-based DNA vaccine), I have to caution that the field is a graveyard of failed attempts, ranging from traditional vaccine methods a century old, to exotic cutting-edge variants. There is considerable skepticism that an HIV vaccine (even given a very elastic definition of "vaccine") is even possible, in part based on the apparently complete absence of any "natural" sterilizing immunity. At best, there exists a small population of non-progressors who are able to hold the virus at stalemate due to genetic variations in certain receptors, a mechanism that seems unhelpful as far as vaccines goes (although relevant to drugs, specifically entry-inhibitors).

While VLPs (virus-like particles) are certainly a promising vaccine technology (the cervical cancer vaccine that's been in the news recently is VLP-based), I really am pessimistic that it is the solution to the substantial problems that any working HIV vaccine would have to overcome. At this point, I don't think anything will work short of somehow granting a patient's immune system innate resistance to HIV through some kind of gene therapy approach (there actually are people working on this sort of approach, but gene therapy as a whole has a long way to go).

That would be neat but.... (1)

umask077 (122989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943807)

In reality yeah, good yet another potentional vaccine is going to enter clinical trials. I reality very few drugs make it past phase one trials, even fewer past stage two, and less after phase 3. Going into stage one while a significant step in the right direction means very little as so many factors can weed it out as a viable drug along the way. Thats why the drug companys charge so much. For every 10000 they try they find one that works. When it gets to phase 3 then its something to be truely watched.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19943835)

OK, lemme get this straight:

1) The HIV tests look for *antibodies* to HIV.

2) And since vaccines are designed to stimulate antibody production,

3) Wouldn't this vaccine make you test positive?

The temporal continum has burped (5, Informative)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19943847)

This article would have been timely (but no more accurate) a couple of years ago. The vaccine showed great promise, but the clinical trials were a flop. The drug was written off; the company lost a bundle.

Mumble mumble making a vaccine for a polymorphic virus mumble - wish I hadn't bought that company's stock...

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