May #81 : Prime Time - by Mike Barr

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Table of Contents

Divinely Driven Dick

The Doctor Is Out

Say Aaaaah!

Unveiled

HMOs & HIV

Loan Ranger

Raging Bull

Global Yodel

Bush 2, MaryJane 0

Milestones

Afghan AIDS

Hemo Hero

Georgia on My Mind

I Want My HIV TV

Jock Sock

Gal-lery

Spin Cycle

Seattle Rattle

Prime Time

Rhesus in Pieces

Fast Lane T Cells

Sustiva Diva

Coke Is It

Obituary

Marathon Man

Love Handles

Publisher's Letter

Mailbox

Playing (for Keeps) in Poughkeepsie

AZT Ace

NEG/POS



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

May 2002

Prime Time

by Mike Barr

Merck & Co. had the Seattle confab buzzing by announcing a year-long safety test of its HIV vaccine in a small group of negative volunteers. In monkeys, the high-profile vax cut viral load sharply and slowed disease. If successful, the Merck vaccine not only would prove a boon for prevention but would also be fast-tracked for the treatment of HIVers.

The vaccine uses a "prime-boost" strategy -- two vax constructs are administered, one after the other. The primer takes advantage of "naked DNA" technology, as tiny fragments of HIV are injected directly into the muscle. The "boost" consists of an adenovirus "vector" -- a safe envelope into which HIV's gag protein is inserted.

The two-pronged strategy is designed to augment the killer-T cell ("CTL") attack against the virus. Response rates have been encouraging -- from 50 to 70 percent. Merck med head Emilio Emini says he plans to launch a study in some 600 HIVers in the near future.




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