The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded Dr. Gary R. Matyas of the Walter Reed Army Insitute of Research a grant to create a HIV vaccine to treat heroin addiction and protect against HIV.
Dr. Matyas will receive $1,000,000 a year for five years to support this research. NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow believes, “The implications for public health are enormous.”
Because heroin users are at high risk for HIV infection, this vaccine would be instrumental in cutting the number of heroin related HIV cases worldwide. Dr. Matyas states, “The possibility of creating a combination heroin-HIV vaccine provides an important opportunity to address both a unique treatment for heroin abuse as well as continuing the quest to develop an effective preventive HIV vaccine.”
Dr. Matyas and his team of researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research hope to have their vaccine developed within the five year time frame of the grant.