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Injections cut need for HIV drugs

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9:24am, March 9, 2005

From Boston, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection

An experimental vaccine, when given to people infected with HIV, appears to reduce their dependence on antiviral drugs. Minimizing the need for the drugs, which must be taken daily, could spare people from those medicines' costs and side effects.

Yves Levy of Henri Mondor Hospital in Créteil, France, and his colleagues studied 71 HIV-infected volunteers receiving a standard therapy of antiretroviral drugs. To 34 of the volunteers, the researchers also gave a series of injections of the test vaccine, which is made of substances that stimulate the immune system. Those shots increased the activity and abundance of retrovirus-fighting immune cells, Levy's team reported in the Feb. 18 AIDS.

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