On the Agenda - Vaccine could help prevent HIV

In a nutshell A new HIV vaccine study has been hailed as a step towards prevention of HIV. A Phase Three clinical trial involving more than 16,000 adult volunteers in Thailand demonstrated an investigational HIV vaccine regimen was safe and modestly effective in preventing HIV.

Vaccine: could help fight against HIV
Vaccine: could help fight against HIV

What did the study find?

According to the trial sponsor, the US Army Surgeon General, the combination of Alvac HIV and Aidsvax B/E lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2 per cent compared with placebo. Seventy-four placebo recipients became infected with HIV compared with 51 in the vaccine regimen group.

Why is this important?

This finding has implications for the design and testing of future HIV vaccines. But additional research is needed.

Who is involved?

Collaborating partners on this study include the US Army, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sanofi Pasteur and Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases.

PR support

Part of the press activity was handled by the US Military HIV Research Program in-house team with support from Hill & Knowlton in New York.

Media coverage

The story was broken by BBC Breakfast News last Thursday and was discussed heavily on Radio 4's Today programme. Other national media followed it up shortly after online.

- 97,400 cases of HIV reported in the UK since the early 1980s

- 18,000 people with HIV have died in the UK since the early 1980s.

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