Russia develops potential HIV vaccine

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Moscow, Oct 6: Russian scientists claimed have to developed a potential HIV vaccine at the Russian virology and biotechnology Vector research centre in Novosibirsk, West Siberia.

''As we know there is no HIV vaccine. The Americans had high hopes of developing one, but the three vaccines developed most recently failed trials. Today the specialists from Vector said there is a hope for an effective vaccine,'' a leading geneticist Vladimir Shumny was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The geneticist said it was difficult to develop an HIV vaccine as the virus was constantly mutating.

However, the polymorphous vaccine created by the research centre might help to effectively prevent HIV.

Mr Shumny said the lengthy legal procedures could complicate the vaccine's chances of passing the necessary medical trials and getting it registered with the appropriate authorities.

''The first phase of trials will take at least three years,'' he said.

A researcher at the centre said it was still too early to speak about the effectiveness of the vaccine, as the first phase of the trials has not started and its safety has not yet been proven.

''A total of 37 HIV vaccines have been developed, but none of them have been successful,'' she added.

The Russian government has allocated one billion rubles (39.4 million dollars) to develop a HIV vaccine.

As amany as 40.3 million people are HIV-positive worldwide, including 17.5 million women and 2.3 million children under the age of 15, a 2005 study suggests.

UNI

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