HIV Vaccine Results Encouraging

Timothy Kincaid

September 24th, 2009

Eventually it had to happen. Eventually one of the promising vaccines trials for HIV had to provide at least some protection.

And it has. Partly. The trial showed that a vaccine was about 31.2% effective. (NY Times)

“I don\’t want to use a word like ‘breakthrough,\’ but I don\’t think there\’s any doubt that this is a very important result,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is one of the trial\’s backers.

“For more than 20 years now, vaccine trials have essentially been failures,” he went on. “Now it\’s like we were groping down an unlit path, and a door has been opened. We can start asking some very important questions.”

This is not the vaccine that will announce the end of the era of AIDS. But it is the first vaccine that has shown any effectivity at all and it allows researchers an opportunity to build upon this start to find something that will really work.

fuzzy

September 25th, 2009

Though initially exciting news, since reading about this when it was first announced I’ve looked for but can’t find any data on what extent the test subjects were tracked. Unless they monitored the HIV status of who they had sex with and what their sexual practices were, it seems a BIG stretch that they are saying the vaccine is 31% effective based simply on that 74/51 comparison.

Chris McCoy

September 25th, 2009

Tim, can you provide a link?

I am interested in what they mean by effective – does it work on existing infection, or is it effective at reducing the rate of infection during exposure, or does it reduce the likelihood of transmission?

I apologize, I am not versed in the lingo, and I know you guys know the clinical terms.

Timothy Kincaid

September 25th, 2009

Chris,

Sorry. I have a link now.

The vaccine is preventative, i.e. it does not work on existing HIV and does not seem to reduce viral load if infected but reduces transmission. They don’t yet know how or why.

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