This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
volunteers in South Africa will test the safety of an African-developed vaccine
against H.I.V. The tests are the first step in human clinical trials of two vaccine
candidates developed at the University of Cape Town.
These experimental AIDS vaccines are the first from
Africa to reach testing in people. The National Institutes of Health in the
United States provided assistance. Testing with twelve people began earlier
this year in Boston, Massachusetts.
South Africa has more than five million
people infected with H.I.V., the largest number of any country.
South Africa launched the tests last week as the
International AIDS Society held a conference in Cape Town. Other human trials
of possible vaccines are taking place around the world. Scientists hope to get
some results later this year.
during last week's conference, experts reported the first decrease in international
financing for AIDS vaccine research. They say funding dropped from about nine
hundred thirty million dollars in two thousand seven to eight hundred seventy
million last year.
at the conference, scientists presented the latest findings about new mothers
infected with H.I.V. Two studies showed ways in which anti-H.I.V. drugs could
permit infected women to breastfeed their newborns with less risk of passing
the virus to them. The research was done in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, South Africa
one study, infected mothers began to take three anti-H.I.V. drugs while
breastfeeding for up to six months. In a second study, the babies were given
medicine, instead of their mothers. The babies received one drug every day during
six months of breastfeeding.
researchers said both methods greatly reduced the risk of H.I.V. infection.
Guay is vice president of research at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS
Foundation, which supported the research. Doctor Guay says the problem in
sub-Saharan Africa is the limited availability of anti-retroviral drugs.
LAURA GUAY: "We know only about thirty-three percent of
women have access to a program that actually has services in place to prevent
mother-to-child transmission. So the first challenge is, how do we reach all the
women who do not have access to a prevention program?"
other new research, a study has found that circumcision does not decrease the
risk that H.I.V. positive men will infect women. The findings, from Uganda, are
in the medical journal, The Lancet.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve Ember.