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Are we closer to a HIV vaccine?

ImgresSmall advancements make big waves in the decades-long search for an HIV vaccine, and University of Miami researchers are optimistic that their latest findings are significant: They have developed a vaccine that triggers an immune system response strong enough to kill a model AIDS virus in mice.

The vaccine is still in the early stages of development, said Geoffrey W. Stone, a UM assistant professor of microbiology and immunology who led the research study published in February’s Journal of Virology.

“This is very basic mouse research,’’ Stone said, “but very exciting.’’

The next step is trials on larger animals, and eventually clinical trials on people —a process that could take 10 years or longer.

Work to find an HIV vaccine has particular urgency in Miami-Dade, where nearly 35,000 adults and children were living with the disease in 2013, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

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