Zimbabwe has embarked on a new HIV study aimed at assessing if antibodies can be used to prevent contracting HIV from an infected partner if infused directly to a participant.
In this latest study known as Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP), scientists have manufactured an antibody called VRC01 which will be infused in human participants through intravenous(IV) fluid, popularly known as drip, once after every 8 weeks for two years. In an interview during the AMP study update meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, protocol co-chairperson Dr Nyaradzo Mgodi said the process is similar to how vaccines for polio and chicken pox were developed.
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Mgodi said so far 61 women had volunteered to take part in the study in Zimbabwe against a target of 261. The study will take place at Harare (Spillhaus Clinic) and Chitungwiza (Seke South Clinic). The study is being conducted in Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya and South Africa. 1 500 women are expected to participate in the study.