A new oral vaccine to prevent HIV infection that does not contain the HIV virus is currently being tested in clinical trials at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The study is designed by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This novel vaccine that is administered in pill form contains a live adenovirus, which is a common cause of respiratory and gastroenteritis infections. Researchers selected this type of virus because symptoms are rare in infected adults; the virus is weakened in the vaccine to further reduce the risk of infection. While the virus contains a protein that prompts an immune response against HIV, the study vaccine does not contain the HIV virus.

RELATED: Hormonal Contraceptives and HIV: Comparing Methods, Risk of Acquisition

Michael C. Keefer, MD, professor of Medicine and director of the University’s NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, believes that an oral vaccine may be more effective in creating an immune response against HIV in patients. The trials will monitor immune system response to the vaccine and any symptoms or adverse events.

For more information visit Rochester.edu.