AIDS/HIV | Health

Vaccine Hope: Government Scientists Discover Powerful HIV Antibody


A potentially big breakthrough toward an AIDS vaccine: U.S. government scientists have identified three antibodies, one of which neutralizes 91% of all HIV strains. This makes it the most potent HIV-killer to date.

"The antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay men, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. Researchers screened 25 million of his cells to find 12 that produced the antibodies. Now the trick will be for scientists to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone's body produce them."

Henrietta-Lacks (2)-thumb-400xauto-7959 I like the sound of "Donor 45" more than the sound of "Patient Zero". Cautiously optimistic, although the leader of the research warns, "We're going to be at this for a while." I hope Donor 45 doesn't wind up like Henrietta Lacks (pictured), the African-American woman whose "HeLa" cells "helped cure a generation" of various maladies thanks to their unique ability to thrive once reproduced but who never received money, credit or thanks. Of course, Lacks never gave consent for her cells to be used, while Donor 45 did. (Thank you, Donor 45.)

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  1. Do yourselves a favor: don't read the comments section on the WSJ article. Waaay too many Randroids who have no understanding of how medical research is funded.

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 8, 2010 4:16:30 PM

  2. Ha! When in doubt, bet on black!

    Posted by: Jam | Jul 8, 2010 4:19:03 PM

  3. "Donor 45?" I see commercials starring Billy D. Williams “Hey kids… get tested… do it for Donor 45 and do it for yourself…”

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 8, 2010 4:19:33 PM

  4. Excellent news! But...well, the day they cure hiv/aids (or provide a preventative vaccine) the day...that almost every gay man in the u.s. contracts syphilis at the same time...excluding me. It'll be a great day!

    Posted by: TANK | Jul 8, 2010 4:20:46 PM

  5. They already found a cure for HIV, just like the discovery of curing Cancer years ago but do insurance companies make a profit off healthy people? In Europe, the latest rage is taking 'testing' anti-HIV drug in a drink before heading out and having unprotected sex. Those who discovered they slept with an hiv+ person, months down the road to couple years, they are still not effective because they have a hold of that anti-hiv drug.

    We don't hear much about Magic Johnson now these days, now do we? Much less, do we even care?

    Posted by: Joseph | Jul 8, 2010 4:32:46 PM

  6. If anyone has the stomach for it, read the comments to the article in the WSJ. Stunning! Absolutely stunning!

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 8, 2010 4:57:12 PM

  7. @Joseph

    " In Europe, the latest rage is taking 'testing' anti-HIV drug in a drink before heading out and having unprotected sex."

    As a European I demand you prduce some evidence too support the bullshit that is your statement.

    Posted by: Max | Jul 8, 2010 6:23:47 PM

  8. Wow, Joseph, I think you may have just out-retarded Jason. Is there a cure for that?

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 8, 2010 6:33:31 PM

  9. @joseph

    Yes there is a small group of men who think they are cheating death by taking antivirals and having wild nights of unprotected sex. But I promise you they are cheating fate and doing drastic damage to immune systems.

    Sorry the issue of no cure in sight isnt as easy as a big bad wolf conspiracy. that is true tragedy. but please try and lessen that tragedy by running your mouth about shit you don't know.

    Posted by: Travis | Jul 8, 2010 6:59:44 PM

  10. As a rule antibody based vaccines provide no long term "cure" or protection. Best case scenario is that if you are uninfected you would have to be vaccinated on a regular schedule.

    If you read the WSJ article, it could be used in those already infected as a therapeutic vaccine.

    As for Joseph, think his mastery of english got in the way.

    For years now researchers have reported that there are negative gay men who take HIV drugs to prevent infection. It's called Pre Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP (and it does work).

    People studying the circuit scene a few years back reported drug dealers selling packets of MTV: Meth, Tenofovir and Viagra.

    Posted by: qjersey | Jul 8, 2010 8:06:17 PM

  11. Every couple of months there another "breakthrough" in AIDS research and this has been going on for over 20 years. Wake me when it works.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 8, 2010 9:14:24 PM

  12. The vaccine/cure will only be made public once enough people are infected to make it profitable. There is NO doubt in my mind that (p)harmacutical companies are waiting for the market to be big enough.

    Posted by: M | Jul 11, 2010 6:19:36 PM

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