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‘Malawi should benefit from HIV vaccine trial’

Malawi should be one of the first beneficiaries of the HIV vaccine if trials set to start next year at Lilongwe’s Area 18 Health Centre are successful, a health rights group has said
The government and the University of North Carolina (UNC) will start conducting the trials in 2018.
“If the trial becomes successful, Malawi should be one of the first beneficiaries, instead of just being used for trial purposes,” said Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director, George Jobe.
He said participants in the trial must have full knowledge of what the vaccine is and its implications.
“Malawians who will be involved should have their rights protected. If there are any adverse effects which may arise from the vaccine, participants must be informed,” Jobe said.
Jobe said success of the trial will be positive news in the fight against HIV and Aids.
Ministry of Health and Population spokesperson, Joshua Malango, said trials are already underway in South Africa and Zambia.
“Malawi trials could have started by now but we were waiting for Poisons Board to conduct an assessment and certification of the trials,” Malango said.
Country Director for the University of North- Carolina at Chapel Hill, Innocent Mofolo, said 2,600 HIV negative women of 18 to 35 age range will be enrolled in five countries, including Malawi, in sub-Saharan Africa.
The process of enrolling participants in the trial will take a year and the follow up will be there for two years.

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