Aids vaccine seems to offer temporary protection

DAILY NATION – 24 February, 2010
An Aids vaccine that appears to have worked at least in Thailand might only temporarily protect patients, with effects starting to wane after a year or so, researchers reported last week. That might explain why the results of the experimental have been so difficult to interpret, said Dr Nelson Michael, a colonel at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute of Research in Maryland, US, who helped lead the trial.

Michael’s team is trying to find out how or why it might have worked. They surprised the world last September when they showed that the experimental vaccine cut the risk of infection by 31 per cent over three years. “it is very likely that this vaccine worked only for a short period of time,” Michael said in a telephone interview.

It is a weak, a modest effect but something that we can build on.”

Michael told the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections in San Francisco, US, that it might be possible to design a trial that will show better whether t5he vaccine can really help people.

Part of the problem, he said was that the 16,000 Thai volunteers who tested the vaccine were not especially high risk of AIDS infection.

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