Italy AIDS Vaccine Ready for Human Trials
A unique vaccine candidate developed by Italian scientists will soon be ready for human testing, Reuters Health reports. Italy's National Health Institute has worked on a "different approach to tackling HIV" for the past five years. Unlike most "traditional vaccines," which have focused on trying to bolster the immune system against the virus, the Italian scientists have attempted to block replication of the virus in the body by interfering with a "key building block" called the TAT protein. This protein is "vital for the virus to take root and spread and is released by cells soon after infection," Reuters Health reports. Dr. Barbara Ensoli, head of virology at Italy's National Health Institute, said, "By targeting the TAT protein ... we will be able to control virus replication, to render the infection abortive, to block disease onset in HIV negative subjects." Ensoli continued, "For HIV positive subjects, the vaccine will act on the same rationale, blocking virus replication and hopefully avoiding the use of medicines."
Ensoli said that the first pha