ASU researchers on the verge of HIV vaccine - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

ASU researchers on the verge of HIV vaccine

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Hollywood bad-boy Charlie Sheen made a stunning announcement Tuesday morning on NBC’s Today.

“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV-positive,” he said. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”

[READ: Advocate hopes Charlie Sheen puts spotlight back on HIV]

Sheen’s revelation was highly speculated, but still shocking. It’s once again raising awareness of the virus that causes AIDS. While prevention and treatment has come a long way, there’s still no cure or vaccine for HIV.

However, Arizona State University's Dr. Bertram Jacobs said they’re on the verge. He’s the director of the School of Life Sciences. He and his team have been working on an HIV vaccine since 2005.

"We've got what we think is an improved vaccine vector,” Jacobs said. “We're hoping, we're waiting to get it into clinical trials. That's a really difficult process, but we're hoping to get it into clinical trials within a year."

Jacobs said their vaccine is a first.

"We've made a vaccine that can actually replicate, reproduce in people and stimulate a really good immune response. Ours so far is the only one we've made that can replicate in humans."

Jacobs also claims this vaccine is the best that’s ever been tested on animals.

"We've generated a vaccine, we've tested in non-human primates. It looks like it gives a very good immune response on non-human primates. We have to try and get it into humans."  

However, Jacobs cautioned that a working HIV vaccine is probably a decade or more away.

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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