SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) -Health experts say we could be inching closer to a new vaccine that prevents the HIV infection.
Susan Alt with the Coastal Health District in Savannah says prevention is treatment. Experts believe there is great promise for hundreds of HIV cases around Georgia.
“There about 39,000 diagnoses in a year, the hope is this will lower that,” said Susan Alt.
Alt tells News 3 although HIV diagnoses aren’t as common as they were at the height of the epidemic, she says the disease is still prevalent, especially in the Peach State.
“In the last 2-3 weeks in our program we’ve had 5 or 6 new diagnoses walk in. We know we still have an issue with HIV prevention and this will give us another tool in the tool box to help us prevent HIV,” said Alt.
The Vaccine study is funded by the National Institute of Health. Early trials of the vaccine solution were tested and proven effective in monkeys. The hope is to now test it on those at risk for infection.
“The focus is men who have sex with men and transgender people, which is the most the most highly impacted population in the country and in Georgia. We know if we get the virus under control to an undetectable level in their blood that the chance of transmission is remote,” said Alt.
Georgia alone has over 51,000 people living with HIV.