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AIDS virusDermaVir belongs to a class of anti-HIV drugs called Immune-Based Therapies. For a description of the life-cycle of the AIDS virus, and the targets of each class of drugs, click here.

DermaVir is being developed by Genetic Immunity.

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What is DermaVir?

  • DermaVir is a therapeutic vaccine being developed by Genetic Immunity. A therapeutic vaccine works by controlling HIV in people who are infected with the virus.
  • DermaVir is a nanomedicine involving microscopic molecules surrounding manmade DNA delivered through a patch applied to the skin. The vaccine’s DNA contains stretches of genetic code similar to fragments of HIV, and is used to stimulate the immune system to control the virus.
  • DermaVir is currently being developed with the goal of delaying or withdrawing antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.

What is already known about DermaVir?
  • Genetic Immunity has conducted four clinical trials to assess the safety of DermaVir, as well as its potential to control HIV.
  • Three doses of DermaVir have been studied: 0.2 milligrams (mg), 0.4mg and 0.8mg per dose. In the studies, up to four doses have been given over 18 weeks. In one Phase II study involving HIV-positive people who hadn’t yet started ARV therapy, neither the 0.2mg or 0.8mg doses significantly affected viral loads, whereas the 0.4mg dose reduced viral load by approximately half a log.
  • Genetic Immunity reports it is moving forward with the 0.4mg dose in future studies.
  • Like other drugs, DermaVir might interact with other medications, including those used to treat HIV. It is important that your personal physician and/or the research nurse or study investigator be aware of all drugs you are taking, including those you buy without a prescription.

What is known about side effects?
  • Information regarding the safety and possible side effects of Dermavir in HIV-positive people has not yet ben reported. Studies to determine the potential side effects of Dermavir have not yet been conducted.

Who should not take DermaVir?
  • It is not known whether DermaVir will harm an unborn baby. It is very important to treat HIV during pregnancy to reduce the risk of infecting your baby. Talk to your provider about your treatment options.
  • It is not known how DermaVir will affect babies who are breast-feeding when the mother while the mother is being treated. To prevent transmission of the virus to uninfected babies, it is recommended that HIV-positive mothers not breast feed.

Where can I learn more about clinical trials of DermaVir?
  • If you would like to find out if you are eligible for any clinical trials that include DermaVir, visit, a site run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The site has information about all HIV-related clinical studies in the United States. For more info, you can call their toll-free number at 1-800-HIV-0440 (1-800-448-0440) or email

Last Revised: February 02, 2011

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