A promising HIV vaccine developed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University eradicated the virus that causes AIDS in monkeys, and scientists hope something similar can soon be tested on humans.
AIDS in non-human primates is caused by simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, which is similar to HIV but up to 100 times more deadly, BBC News reported. The research showed that half of the monkeys given the vaccine responded to it and were "completely clear" of SIV.
The researchers created the vaccine from a modified version of a common virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV). They said it prompted the monkeys' white blood cells to seek out and destroy the SIV-infected cells.
"Through this method we were able to teach the monkey's body to better 'prepare its defenses' to combat the disease," Louis Picker, associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, said in a press release.