New vaccine to end HIV infections almost ready

KENYA – The Centers for Disease Control Prevention is working on a HIV vaccine that could see an end to new HIV infections in Kenya.

The vaccine – HPTN-081 – is an antibody-mediated prevention that involves giving antibodies to individuals to protect them from HIV infections.

Speaking during the 40th anniversary of CDC’s partnership with Kenya in Kisumu on Friday, CDC country director Dr Marc Bulterys said research is ongoing to ensure that the vaccine can be widely rolled out.

“We are already done with three trial phases of the vaccine and are working towards making more progress that can help in fully preventing HIV,” Dr Bulterys said.

“We are focusing on women because they are among the groups with high risk of being infected,” he added.

Dr Bulterys also noted that CDC is committed to supporting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme in the country.

“It is our aim to ensure that all groups have access to free quality health care services including the marginalised groups such as gays,” Dr Bulterys said.

US Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Kneedler said that the US government is dedicated to supporting the UHC as part of Kenya’s big four agenda.

“The aim is to see Kenya grow from a beneficiary to a benefactor,” Mr Kneedler said.

The anniversary celebrations were held to commemorate the achievements of the organization in Kenya for the past 40 years.

Some of the achievements include the recently rolled out malaria vaccine that has seen Kenya and other African countries benefitTed.

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