Moderna to Begin Clinical Trials for mRNA HIV Vaccine
The manufacturer believes the COVID-19 vaccines technology can be effective on HIV
BY TAT BELLAMY-WALKER
Following the utilization
of mRNA technology in
COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna
is poised to launch
phase one clinical trials for an
mRNA HIV vaccine next month.
According to the National Institutes
of Health’s (NIH) clinical trials
registry, researchers are seeking
approximately 56 participants
between the ages of 18 to 50 years
old to explore how mRNA technology
protects adults against HIV.
Researchers are providing four
groups with two types of vaccines
to test their effectiveness. Scientists
believe the mRNA technology
can “boost immunogens” that
could aid the body’s response in
blocking the virus. The clinical
trials are slated to launch this fall
and will continue until 2023.
Dr. Andrew Pekosz, a virologist
The biotech company Moderna is slated to launch Phase one trials to test the effectiveness of mRNA
technology on HIV.
and professor at John Hopkins
School of Public Health, told
Verywell that the mRNA technology
could protect patients against
more than just COVID-19.
“mRNA is a good platform to try
against HIV,” Pekosz told Verywell.
“But because the immunity that you
need to protect from HIV is a little bit
different from what you need from
fl u and COVID-19, it’s more important
to do the large scale trials to really
see how effective it could be.”
Doctors also say the technology
used in the mRNA vaccine is
a promising tool in fi ghting other
public health issues.
“Based on its success in protecting
against COVID-19, I am hopeful
that mRNA technology will
revolutionize our ability to develop
vaccines against other pathogens,
like HIV and infl uenza,” Dr. Rajesh
Gandhi, an infectious diseases
specialist at Massachusetts General
Hospital and chair of the HIV
Medicine Association, said in an
interview with Verywell.
According to the trial’s guidelines,
participants must be willing
to undergo HIV testing and risk
reduction counseling. Individuals
assigned female and male at birth
must use some form of birth control
during the study. Participants
with a history of excessive alcohol
use, STIs, individuals living with
HIV, engaging in sex work, or have
had multiple sex partners within
the last six months are excluded
from the study.
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GayCityNews.com | AUGUST 26 - SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 9