HIV/AIDS vaccine trials are underway at Mulago Hospital in Uganda, the country's health ministry has reported. The trials will focus on preventing transmission of the virus from infected mothers to their babies through breast-feeding. The study will continue for two years, and will assess the safety and immunogenicity of a preventive HIV-1 vaccine.
"There is an urgent need to make breast feeding safe throughout the first year of life for HIV exposed infants," said Francis Miiro, one of the study's lead researchers. "The vaccine is being considered to see if it could provide the protection against HIV-1 during breast-feeding."
In Uganda, added Miiro, transmission of the HIV virus through breast-feeding accounts for a third of all infant HIV infections.