Global Awareness: An Experimental Vaccine That Prevents HIV Infection

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Categories: A "Lil Positivity", For Discussion, News

hiv vaccine

This is a good look:

For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result. Recent failures led many scientists to think such a vaccine might never be possible. The vaccine 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. Even though the benefit is modest, “it’s the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine,” Col. Jerome Kim said in a telephone interview. He helped lead the study for the U.S. Army, which sponsored it with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact. Every day, 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV; 2 million died of AIDS in 2007, the U.N. agency UNAIDS estimates. “Today marks an historic milestone,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, an international group that has worked toward developing a vaccine. “It will take time and resources to fully analyze and understand the data, but there is little doubt that this finding will energize and redirect the AIDS vaccine field,” he said in a statement. The Thailand Ministry of Public Health conducted the study, which used strains of HIV common in Thailand. Whether such a vaccine would work against other strains in the U.S., Africa or elsewhere in the world is unknown, scientists stressed. “This is a scientific breakthrough,” Thai Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai told a news conference in Bangkok. “For the first time ever there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventative efficacy.”

People, please, please, please! Practice safe sex.

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