Bangkok-New Preventative AIDS Vaccine ALVAC-AIDSVAX 31% Effective
An experimental vaccine called ALVAC-AIDSVAX has been found to be over 31% effective in the prevention of AIDS, suggesting new hope and a breakthrough in the near future.
The study was conducted on 16,000 volunteers in Bangkok, Thailand by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program and the Thailand Ministry of Public Health. Although the results seem modest, it's very exciting news for the scientific community.
From President and CEO Seth Berkley of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI),"It's the first demonstration that a candidate AIDS vaccine provides benefit in humans. Until now, we've had evidence of feasibility for an AIDS vaccine in animal models. Now, we've got a vaccine candidate that appears to show a protective effect in humans."
The vaccine — a combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines — cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31 percent in the world's largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok.
Today's news marks a "scientific breakthrough" and an "historic milestone" in the AIDS communities, showing results in humans for the first time.
The results were barely significant on statistical grounds, perplexing for scientific reasons and unanticipated by most researchers. Nevertheless, the first positive results for an AIDS vaccine after two decades of experimentation was being called a milestone.
"Conceptually, we now know a vaccine is possible," said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which paid for most of the six-year trial. "Whether the vaccine is going to look anything like this one I don't know. But at least we know it can be done."
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