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Uganda: HIV vaccine trial starts soon to prevent transmission from infected mothers to their babies through breast feeding
  April 10, 2006, 4 hours, 22 minutes and 20 seconds ago.
By Andnetwork .com
Trials on an HIV vaccine aimed at preventing transmission of the virus from infected mothers to their babies through breast feeding, are to start in the next few months at Mulago Hospital.
The study is to last two years and the randomly- selected babies shall be monitored by a team of doctors from the clinic at Mulago.
The babies shall, after birth, be examined to ensure that they are eligible.
This was disclosed at a media meeting on Friday at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. The meeting was organised by researchers under the Makerere University-John Hopkins University (MUJHU) Research Collaboration umbrella.
The research is the first in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa and the second in the world. Successful trials of the vaccine have been carried out in adults in Thailand and on babies in the United States of America.
The discussants of the workshop included Prof. Francis Miiro, Dr. Laura Guay, Dr. Mary Glenn Fowler, Kenneth Kintu, and Teopista Nakyanzi.
The organisers said the vaccines would soon arrive in the country after clearance from the authorities.
The doctors said this is a small trial which will assess the safety and immunogenicity of an HIV vaccine.
"There is an urgent need to make breastfeeding safe throughout the first year of life for HIV exposed infants. Perinatal preventive HIV-1 vaccine is being considered to see if it could provide the protection against HIV-1 during breastfeeding.
"The first step in evaluating vaccine candidates is to look at the safety of the vaccine in small safety trials," said Prof. Miiro.
In Uganda, where breastfeeding is the norm, transmission through breastfeeding accounts for a third of all infant HIV infections.
MUJHU research collaboration has primarily focused on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
It has completed a number of trials including the landmark HIVNET 012 trials using a single dose of nevirapine given to the mother during labor and to her newborn, which is now widely implemented around the world.
Source: New Vision
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