Promising AIDS Vaccine Research a Major ‘Breakthrough,’ Omaha World-Herald Editorial Says
The Harvard Medical School AIDS vaccination trials, in which vaccinated monkeys have remained healthy for 600 days after being infected with "particularly deadly" SHIV -- an amalgam of the human and simian versions of the AIDS virus -- may "rank as one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in decades," an Omaha World-Herald editorial says. While the experimental vaccine -- like the one also being studied at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta -- will not protect people against HIV infection, it does "stimulate the immune system sufficiently so that when the test monkeys are deliberately infected ... they don't get sick." The editorial calls this progress "a worthy start," and says that given the "shifty adaptability" of AIDS viruses, the results could be "as good as [they] ge[t]." The editorial concludes that if the vaccines researched at Harvard and Yerkes "succeed in [the] transition" from animals to humans and "continue to show such solid effectiveness against this dreaded modern plague, the names of those who have crafted this medical strategy stand a chance of going into medical history books. ... Deservedly" (Omaha World-Herald, 9/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.