AIDS vaccine trials may have added risk

March 21, 2008

Two field tests of an AIDS vaccine not only failed to protect people from the virus but may have put them at greater risk, U.S. researchers said.

The results of the worldwide trials prompted scientific inquiry as researchers try to assess what happened and whether they should known the outcome, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Both field tests were halted in September and seven other trials of similarly designed AIDS vaccines have been stopped or postponed indefinitely.

"This is on the same level of catastrophe as the (NASA space shuttle) Challenger disaster," said Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS, and head of the Institute for Human Virology in Baltimore.

The STEP and Phambili studies used the same vaccine and were stopped when it became evident the studies were futile and possibly harmful, the Post reported.

One hypothesis for what went wrong is the vaccine somehow prepared the immune system to be more susceptible to HIV infection, a scenario that wasn't foreseen or suggested by previous studies, the Post said.

The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md, which funded the trials, will meet week to reassess its AIDS vaccine program.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers propose rapid Ebola test using nanotechnology

Related Stories

Researchers propose rapid Ebola test using nanotechnology

November 13, 2015

Just as Ebola was finally fading from the headlines, it came back in the news with shocking reports: a Scottish nurse rehospitalized nine months after beating Ebola is now suffering from meningitis caused by the virus. A ...

Clinical trial will test new HIV/AIDS vaccine

April 3, 2008

A phase 1 clinical trial to test a novel HIV/AIDS vaccine has begun at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). This new vaccine aims to overcome the problem of preexisting immunity to common vaccine vectors, which is thought ...

AIDS vaccine trial exceeds expectations

September 23, 2005

An experimental AIDS vaccine of Merck & Co. has exceeded expectations and led to a double enrollment in the trial to 3,000, researchers said.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Mar 21, 2008
good info. HIV People at may like it

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.