India targets local HIV strain in vaccine test
India is to test an AIDS vaccine targeted at its most prevalent strain of HIV, known as subtype C. Safety trials of the vaccine are expected to begin later this year.
It is the first time that a vaccine trial has been carried out in India, which is second only to South Africa as the country hardest hit by AIDS. In the past, India had rejected plans to test imported vaccines, as they targeted subtype B, which is prevalent in America and Europe.
Some AIDS groups have attacked the plan for the safety trial, which has yet to be approved by regulators. But others argue that the vaccine candidate has a greater chance of success than older vaccines.
Reference: Nature 427, 185 (2004)