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At Vanderbilt University, researchers will be using blood tests to check the effectiveness in a novel HIV vaccine in a study of 1,350 men planned for the next five years.
Although the vaccine is designed to not cause diseases, the team of scientists will rely on blood draws to detect the rate of infection in vaccinated and control populations through the course of their work.
"There's no chance of getting infected from the vaccine," Kyle Rybczyk, the study's coordinator, told Out & About. "In blood tests, we can absolutely tell the difference between whether you become HIV-infected or whether you have antibodies from the vaccine."
The course of treatment is not actually designed to stop infections completely, but to increase the time of symptom onset for men who may have contracted HIV by improving the ability of the body's immune system to control virus counts.
For interim vaccines like these that ameliorate symptoms rather than destroying the virii, HIV testing may be one tool to learn about what symptoms may lie ahead.
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