Mosaico’s HIV Vaccine Is Being Tested in MexicoBy Sofía Garduño | Thu, 03/24/2022 - 13:18
Mexico is one of the eight countries where the Mosaico HIV vaccine is being tested. Currently, the vaccine is on Phase 3 trials. Although results will be available in approximately four years, Mosaico hopes to be able to counter HIV contagion and the AIDS epidemic.
“In theory, this vaccine would allow the immune system to recognize HIV in blood circulation,” said Roberto Vázquez, Academic Doctor, UNAM. The Mosaico initiative is a study that aims to find an effective HIV vaccine. Mexico City, Yucatan and Jalisco are the states in which Mosaico is being tested.
If the vaccine is cleared, it will be firstly administered to those with higher risk of getting the virus such as seropositive people or those involved in an activity that increases their chances of getting the virus. Sexual workers, for example, have a 2,600% higher risk of contracting the virus, drug users face risk 35 times higher than the average person, while transgender women face a risk 34 times higher. After vulnerable groups are protected, the rest of the population could access the vaccine. “As it is transmitted through sexual intercourse, we are all at risk,” said Roberto Vázquez, Academic Doctor, UNAM.
Mosaico is not the only initiative working on the development of an HIV vaccine. Biotech firm Moderna and the International AIDS Vaccine initiative announced in January 2022 the start of a new phase in the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection, as reported by Mexico Business News.
These initiatives represent a step forward toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3. which aims for epidemics like AIDS, TB, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases to be eradicated by 2030. To reach the goal, the United Nations Global AIDS Strategy (2021-2026) proposes strategies to accelerate the fulfillment of a world of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
Globally, 1.5 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2020. During 2021, 14,274 new HIV cases were diagnosed in Mexico. In 2020, 680,000 people died from HIV related illnesses worldwide and 4,557 people lost their lives in Mexico amid the same cause.
To prevent HIV, people must use protection during sexual relations and avoid contact with needles that have been previously used by other people. Also, the Ministry of Health promotes the use of Prophylaxis Pre-Exposition (PrEP), which reduces the risk of HIV contagion by over 90 percent. The use of this treatment is recommended to people who do not use sexual protection, people with HIV positive sexual partners who are not under viral suppression and people who use drugs.