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Volunteers for vaccine trails found.
30.06.2005 00:00

One hundred volunteers agreed to take part in future clinical trials of Russian anti-AIDS/HIV vaccine, professor Andrei Kozlov, director of Saint Petersburg Biomedical Centre, reported during 14th International Conference HIV, Cancer and Public Health, which was held in Saint Petersburg on June 1-4, 2005.
      Volunteers are drug-addicted people under 30, who live in Saint Petersburg, are married or have official families. These people are currently not HIV positive, but have an extremely high possibility to catch an infection because they are in the risk group.
      Experiments for DNA based anti-HIV vaccine development are now being performed in the Biomedical Centre. Fogarty International Centre, a member of US National Health Care Institute System, assigned $3 million for 5 years to Biomedical Centre to perform this research and to train specialists within Anti-AIDS/HIV program. Saint Petersburg is one of four world megapolises, chosen by American colleagues for carrying out bilateral science and education program. At the same time research centres of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk have annual budget funding of over $1 million and the same funds from extra-budgetary resources for antiviral vaccine development.
      RAMS (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences) Academician, professor Anatoly Vorobiev, President of Russian Society of Biotechnologists, said that a possible anti-AIDS vaccine modification (using antigen molecules glued on a polymer carrier) is currently being successfully developed in Moscow Immunology Institute corporate authors have already started preclinical trials. At the same time Moscow Sechenov Academy promotes so-called recombinant vaccine modification (produced by means of genetic engineering). US colleagues have not less than 10 different vaccine samples ready to be tested.
      Unfortunately world community of doctors and biologists is losing technological battle againsts the deathful AIDS virus now, said Professor Kozlov. According to Prof. Kozlov, only two vaccines out of a hundred developed worldwide have reached the stage of clinical trials. And they failed the trials. However, negative result is no less important, and effective antidote will be found till 2010, professor said. Mr. Kozlov also remarked that programs, pointed at fighting HIV infection, are hardly adequate to the real menace to countrys national safety. He said that drug addiction and infection prevention lacks common coordinated approach not only in actual practice, but also in conceptual problem understanding. If we leave the same planning criteria of regional Anti-HIV programs, all dismal outlooks of HIV epidemic development, especially with a glance to unfavorable demographic situation in Russia, may come true.
      According to Prof. Kozlovs data, there are about 300 thousand HIV-positive citizens in Russia, 20 thousand children among them, and 2 thousand patients died of infection exacerbation. The most unfavorable epidemiological situation has formed in seaport towns and in Ural, Irkutsk and Moscow regions.
      Meanwhile scientists are testing behavioral interferences way of life excluding HIV infection of one hundred Saint Petersburg citizens who volunteered for HIV vaccine trials.
      Source: Science and Life Magazine.


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