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HIV-1 Tat:

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ITALIAN NATIONAL AIDS CENTER

 
 
LATEST NEWS
 
LAUNCH OF THE PHASE I TRIAL OF THE SECOND GENERATION OF PREVENTIVE VACCINE AGAINST HIV INFECTION BASED ON THE ASSOCIATION OF TAT AND ENV PROTEINS OF HIV-1 IN HEALTHY ADULT VOLUNTEERS
 
The National Center of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità launches the first phase of clinical testing of preventive HIV vaccine (study ISS P-002) based on a vaccine that combines the Tat protein, which is already advanced to therapeutic phase II trials in Italy and South Africa, and the Env protein, supplied by Novartis as part of a collaboration in the AVIP European project.
 
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ABOUT THIS WEB SITE

This web site describes the efforts by the Italian National AIDS Center at the Italian National Institute of Health to develop preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccines based on the HIV-1 Tat protein.

The Italian National AIDS Center has been conducting research for over ten years on HIV AIDS Vaccines, focusing its effort on the HIV-1 Tat vaccine candidate which uses the HIV-1 Tat protein as an antigen. The HIV-1 Tat Vaccine has become internationally known in recent years as the Italian AIDS vaccine. The use of the HIV-1 Tat protein as a candidate vaccine antigen represents a radically different approach to creating a vaccine against HIV-1 since it is based on the use of a regulatory protein produced very early after HIV infection, instead of the use of envelope proteins as most other HIV AIDS vaccines tested in the clinic to date do. The Italian AIDS vaccine has successfully been tested in pre-clinical studies, was found to be safe and immunogenic in Phase I clinical studies, and is being currently tested in a phase II therapeutic study in Italy in subjects under anti-retroviral therapy. Plans are underway to test the HIV-1 Tat protein alone in South Africa and in combination with HIV-1 Env in a phase I study in Italy.

 
 

WHAT IS "AIDS"

 
Italian AIDS vaccine AIDS is caused by a retrovirus (RNA-based virus) called Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1). If a person gets infected with HIV, his/her body will try to fight the infection by eliciting an immune response that includes also the production of HIV-specific antibodies. Antibodies are special molecules produced by the immune system to fight diseases.

Antibodies are disease-specific. HIV-specific antibodies are produced when a person's body is infected with HIV. To find out if a person is infected with HIV, a blood test is done to look for HIV-specific antibodies.
 
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CAN AIDS BE CURED?

 
HIV AIDS vaccine Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can slow down replication of the HIV virus in the body. Antiretroviral drugs can also slow down the damage to the body's immune system. But there is no therapy available today that is able to eliminate the HIV virus from the body. This is why it is important to develop HIV/AIDS vaccines.

HIV drug research has been very successful in developing stronger and more targeted drugs to control viral replication, minimize damage to the immune system, and prevent or treat most opportunistic infections. Treatment with these drugs has led to a significant improvement in in expectation and quality of life of AIDS patients.
 
   
     
 

HAVING AIDS

   
HIV-1 Tat vaccine A person with HIV becomes sick with AIDS when his/her immune system is seriously compromised. This happens when the CD4+ cell count in the blood drops below 200 cells/Ál. CD4+ cell count is a key parameter for measuring efficacy of HIV vaccines. When CD4+ cell count drops below 200 cells/Ál, the body's immune system is unable to fight and becomes the victim of opportunistic infections.

When the CD4+ cell count begins to drop below normal levels, the immune system is becoming compromised. At this point, it is important to start treatment with antiretroviral medications.
 
   
 
   
For further information please visit the websites indicated in the "useful links" section and/or call the AIDS HELP LINE of Istituto Superiore di SanitÓ 800 861 061.  
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