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Saturday 10 October 2009

HIV vaccine "helps prevent infection"

Posted in: International Daily News, HIV
By Daily News Staff - 26th September 2009

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Researchers in Thailand claim that the combination of two experimental HIV vaccines can reduce the risk of infection "by a third".

A seven-year trial was carried out on 16,000 people - the largest vaccine trial ever attempted.

All the volunteers - who were mostly heterosexual men and women aged 18-30 - were HIV-negative at the beginning of the trial. Half were given the combination of vaccines, while the other half got a placebo. Tested for HIV every six months for three years, only 51 of the vaccine group were infected, compared with 74 people in the placebo group. That amounts to a 31% drop in new infections.

HIV groups around the world are cautiously optimistic about the research, carried out by the US Army and Thai Ministry of Public Health. But researchers and experts say any HIV vaccine or cure would still be a long way off. Years of more comprehensive research into the vaccines are now planned.

The news follows claims earlier this month that US researchers had discovered two previously undetected antibodies that may protect against strains of HIV.

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