An AIDS vaccine trial has been stopped, because a number of participants actually became infected with HIV virus. 

American drug leader Merck & Co. stopped enrollment and vaccination of clinical trial volunteers internationally. In one part of the clinical trial, 24 out of a group of 741 volunteers in an experimental group receiving the AIDS vaccine became infected with HIV. In a comparison group receiving a placebo, 21 out of of 762 volunteers also became infected with HIV.  All volunteers were HIV-free at the start of the trial, but all were at high-risk for contracting HIV.

Statistically, the 24 out of 741 is somewhat significantly higher than the 21 out of 762 and points to the possibility that the Merck AIDS vaccine may have stimulated the contraction of HIV among individuals the experimental group.

Merck, testing the vaccine under partial funding from the US National Institutes of Health, had spent ten years developing the vaccine.  They have learned that their AIDS vaccine will not only possibly stimulate contraction of HIV virus, but also will not likely delay the onset of full-blown AIDS.

Merck’s AIDS vaccine stimulated the Human immune system’s T-cells, just not in a way that helped infected clinical trial volunteers to control the HIV virus. Researchers will attempt to find out why. 

Links:

http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page94?oid=162506&sn=Detail

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092200595.html

 

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