Testing of Aids vaccines set to begin in 1995

SEVERAL potential Aids vaccines designed to protect healthy people from HIV will begin large- scale trials by 1995, it was revealed yesterday. Such vaccines would not give 100 per cent protection, but waiting for the perfect vaccine would mean many more people becoming infected.

Scientists at the 8th International Conference on Aids, in Amsterdam, said that trials would be conducted in Europe, the US and developing countries.

Dr Daniel Hoth, director of the Aids' division at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Maryland, said that more than 12 different preventive vaccines have now been tested in small trials of 20 people or less. Some were promising and side-effects were minor and shortlived. All of the vaccines stimulated the production of antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system in response to infection. Several questions remained unanswered, but it was important that preparation for the trials - recruitment, selection of sites and training - should begin now.

'The encouraging news is that the most recent trials have shown a higher frequency of neutralising antibodies which kill HIV directly,' he said.

But he warned people not to expect a vaccine soon. 'If we do not work vigorously now to set realistic expectations we will create undue disappointment and negative public reactions and the possible slowing down of efforts to find a useful vaccine.'

He said that the most compelling reason for accelerating vaccines into large trials was the hypothetical model for testing developed by the National Institute. It showed that a vaccine which is 60 per cent effective if introduced early into a high-risk population would save more lives than waiting five years for a more effective vaccine.

Dr Samuel Katz, from Duke University Medical Center, said a partially effective vaccine was not unusual. The influenza vaccine is about 80 per cent effective.

Stephen Lwanga, from the Uganda Aids Commission, said his country was willing to collaborate with developing countries in vaccine trials. But Africa should not be 'used' by the West, he said. If a vaccine became available as a result of such trials, it must be made affordable to them. 'So many drugs have been tried in African countries and yet when they are eventually found to be useful we were left out in the cold.'

Carel Ijsselmuiden, of the Medical University of South Africa, warned that a vaccine may be the 'magic bullet' but it would deny the problems which have led to the spread of HIV, such as poverty and discrimination.

Dr June Osborn, of the American National Commission on Aids, said a vaccine would not provide the answer to HIV. 'A vaccine would supplement but it cannot replace what we need to do through education.'

Dr Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine, described a radical new approach to a vaccine for HIV infection. Raising antibodies against the virus was not helpful to a patient, he said. Tiny doses of vaccine which would elicit a small response from the immune system and which did not produce antibodies is more effective. Four studies support Dr Salk's theory, but further work is needed.

Suggested Topics
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Head of Maths

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Head of Maths position at a prestigious ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week