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China's HIV vaccine safe, says scientist

11-30-2011 16:51 BJT Special Report:World AIDS Day 2011 |

BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's self-developed vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) proved safe in the first stage of a trial and is ready to be tested for its effectiveness in the next stage, a scientist from the vaccine program told Xinhua Tuesday.

"We have successfully completed the first-stage clinical trial of China's HIV vaccine. We are submitting the scheme of the second-stage clinical trial for government approval," said Shao Yiming, chief scientist at the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention.

Researchers from over 10 institutes, universities and vaccine-makers are working on the vaccine program, which began in 2005.

The first-stage trial began three years ago.

Usually, a vaccine undergoes three stages of clinical trials to prove its safety and effectiveness. The first one is mainly a safety test while the latter two test effectiveness.

Unlike the first stage, when the vaccine's safety was tested on healthy and low-risk groups, the vaccine's effectiveness will be tested on three high-risk groups, namely drug users, sex workers and homosexuals in the second stage.

Since the 1980s, the number of people in China with registered cases of HIV or AIDS has surpassed 370,000, with more than 130,000 AIDS cases.

But joint research by the health ministry, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization estimated the total at 740,000 at the end of last year, including some 105,000 AIDS patients.

China had reported more than 68,000 AIDS-related deaths as of the end of October, up nearly 20,000 year on year, according to data released by the health ministry on Monday.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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