25
Sep
09

HIV Vaccine Trials: One Step Closer to Realization

Yesterday, many of Vermont CARES’ clients and supporters contacted us to learn more about modestly successful vaccine trial results announced in Thailand this week.  A link to the full article, discussing long-term impact, scientific advances, and crucial next steps, is below. 

In Vermont ~ indeed in all rural communities and globally ~ a vaccine that proves effective at reducing HIV infections could serve as a critical public health tool.  Where transportation and limited infrastructure interfere with effective health strategies keeping people healthy and reducing the spread of HIV, a vaccine could save hundreds of lives. 

The vaccine trial announced in Thailand Thursday teaches us that an effective vaccine could be possible.  Still, many questions remain: why was this vaccine only partially successful?  Can it be adapted to other strains of HIV, so that a vaccine can prove efficacious globally?  What specific immune system triggers are activated by this combination of two less effective vaccines?  Are there health complications not discovered yet?  What would be  the timeline for bringing any successful vaccine to market?  Most crucially, can the vaccine in trials now be improved to be more than 31% effective (as most vaccines publicly available are 70-80% effective)?  

No matter how much is left to be done, this proves a huge development.  With many questions still unfolding, Vermont CARES will keep updates posted to this blog as we learn more.   (Link below)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/health/research/25aids.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=hiv%20vaccine&st=cse

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