A major medical breakthrough is happening right here in San Antonio.
South Texas researchers say they have come up with a vaccine to protect people against the AIDS virus.
The vaccine is designed as a single dose and it should last a lifetime.
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has applied for a patent for a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets the outer layers of body structures that are the first sites of contact.
The vaccine actually attacks the virus before it has a chance to enter the body.
In the past, one of the main reasons that HIV vaccines never worked was because they couldn't deliver antibody-producing cells within the body over prolonged periods of time.
The trick was to produce disease-fighting cells that wouldn't be killed off by a body's own immune system.
But this new antibody takes a totally different approach to stopping the virus.
"The development of an effective AIDS vaccine that restricts viral replication at the mucosal level of entry may be our best hope for controlling the HIV pandemic," said Marie-Claire Gauduin of the Texas Biomed's Department of Virology and Immunology. "
Gauduin is a co-inventor of the vaccine, along with Philippe Blancou from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France.
Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is located in northwest San Antonio. Researchers there tackling treatment for diseases and illnesses such as AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, parasitic infections, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and psychiatric disorders.
The new vaccine will continuously promote the production of antibody-producing cells.
The HIV vaccine could be available to the public.