I read an article the other day that stirs hope in the fight against AIDS. I’ve summarized it here and trust that you, too, will be encouraged.

According to a December 20, 2011 article by Mallory Clarkson at www.londoncommunitynews.com, The University of Western Ontario announced that they are ready to begin human clinical trials for an HIV vaccine. The vaccine was developed using a killed whole virus strategy which is a different approach than was used in three failed human trials from 2003-2009.

In January 2012, the first phase of testing is scheduled to begin. During this phase 40 HIV-positive volunteers will enter the trial and the vaccine’s safety will be the central focus. The second phase will involve 600 HIV-negative volunteers who are at high risk for HIV infection. This part of the trial will measure immune responses. During the third and final phase, 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers in the high-risk category for HIV infection, will measure the efficiency of the vaccine as compared to a non-vaccinated group.

There is much anticipation that this vaccine will be successful. If it is, it will provide much hope to a world that desperately needs hope in the face of HIV/AIDS. It will be important for us to remember, though, that a vaccine is not a cure and millions of people will continue to need treatment for HIV and AIDS well into the future.