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Saturday, August 19th 2006

'Free' Media and Enterprise Trumps HIV

The joys of reports coming out of China are you can’t really trust’em. They are claiming some success with an HIV vaccine.

China said on Saturday that initial test results of its first Aids vaccine showed it could protect people against the HIV virus.

None of the participants in the clinical trial’s first phase showed severe adverse reactions after 180 days and some showed immunity to the HIV-1 virus 15 days after receiving the vaccine, the State Food and Drug Administration said.

It doesn’t sound like they’re using this as a propaganda tool though and they seem pretty realistic on it.

Kong Wei, the research team leader from Jilin University, told China Daily the initial results were “truly inspiring” although he said it was still too early to claim success.

The first phase tests began in March last year in southwestern China’s Guangxi region, with 49 healthy men and women aged between 18-50 participating, the newspaper said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said another 800 volunteers, including those from high-risk groups, would be needed for the second and third phases of the trial, the report added.

However, testing to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness could take years.