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Fight HIV with HIV: 'safe' virus proposed as vaccine

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A company is planning to inject people with an HIV vaccine made of the deadly virus itself, albeit a deactivated version.

Vaccines against many viruses, including flu, are made from deactivated versions of those viruses, but such an approach was previously dismissed as too risky in the case of HIV.

Now VIRxSYS of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is resurrecting the controversial approach, thanks to successful tests of a similar vaccine against SIV – also known as simian HIV – in monkeys.

"We said 'let's use HIV against itself', and that's what we're doing," says Gary McGarrity, VIRxSYS's vice president of scientific and clinical affairs.
 
 

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