Friday, March 21, 2008

Disappointing results from HIV vaccine trials

There is a disappointing story about AIDS vaccine trials in the Washington Post, March 21, 2008, front page, “Vaccine Failure is Setback in AIDS Fight: Test subjects may have been put at extra risk of contacting HIV,” link here.

The vaccines apparently were based on three viral proteins that were supposed to stimulate cell-mediate immunity. For mysterious reasons, they seem to have stimulated the ability of certain people to become infected. The vaccines themselves (STEP and Phambili) could not have caused HIV infection.

The story relates to the failure of two major field studies, one comprising active gay men, the other including many heterosexual women.

I volunteered to be examined for the GP160 vaccine in 1988, but did not join the NIH study because if required too much weekday time when I was steadily employed. I did have a thorough physical (including ECG) and prior exposure to histoplasmosis was found.

We do have to keep trying!

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