Uganda Begins Phase I Trial of Perinatal HIV Vaccine
Uganda last week began enrollment of Phase I trials of a perinatal HIV vaccine that aims to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, Uganda's Daily Monitor reports (Nabayunga, Daily Monitor, 10/18). The Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration has enrolled 50 infants born to HIV-positive women who attended the Mulago Antenatal care clinic into a perinatal HIV vaccine trial (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/11). Francis Mmiiro, lead investigator for the MU-JHU collaboration, on Oct. 13 at a press conference said the first infant was given the vaccine on Thursday, initiating the first phase of the study. During Phase I, infants will receive the vaccine at birth and at one, two and three months of age and will be followed for two years, the Monitor reports. Phase II of the study will involve more infants and aims to determine if the vaccine is safe on a larger scale. Phase III, the final trial, will involve even more infants, the Monitor reports. Mother-to-child HIV transmission "occurs during pregnancy, labor and through breast-feeding, which makes this vaccine a major priority for babies born to HIV infected women because they are exposed to the virus," Mmiiro said, adding that safe breast-feeding is possibly the most important challenge in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa (Daily Monitor, 10/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.