A vaccine to prevent HIV infection, the virus that leads to AIDS, has shown modest results for the first time, researchers have found, raising hopes that a disease that kills millions every year may someday be beaten.
In what is being called the world’s largest HIV vaccine trial ever — involving more than 16,000 participants in Thailand — researchers found that people who received a series of inoculations of a prime vaccine and booster vaccine were 31 percent less likely to get HIV, compared with those on a placebo.
“Before this study, it was thought vaccine for HIV is not possible,” Colonel Jerome Kim, who is the HIV vaccines product manager for the U.S. Army, told CNN.
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, which is the virus that causes AIDS — acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Kim emphasized that the level of effectiveness of the latest vaccine was modest, but given the failures of previous HIV vaccine trials, “yesterday we would have thought an HIV vaccine wasn’t possible.”