Clinicians from the McGill University Health Centre and the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) are participating in the first Canadian therapeutic HIV vaccine trial. Funded by a number of public and private institutions, including the Canadian Network for Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics (CANVAC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this project will begin in April.
"Traditional therapy for HIV-infected patients involves drug cocktails, which have side effects," says participating investigator Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy, an MUHC clinician and professor of Medicine at McGill University. "It is our hope the vaccine will control the HIV infection and limit the use of these drug cocktails."
"Sixty patients who have been on effective therapy and who have had no detectable HIV in their blood for at least two years will be enrolled," says Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, a full professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Université de Montréal. He is the scientific director of CANVAC as well as associate director of Research, Development and Strategic Planning at the CHUM Research Centre. "Blood samples from these patients will be collected, and the effect of the vaccination on the patient's immune system will be determined."
Also participating in this study is the Ottawa Hospital.
More than 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In recent years, the number of women and children infected with HIV has increased dramatically.
For more information about this study, please refer to the CANVAC website.