Vaccine produces results

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14 Nov 2014

Published in November 13 2014, this paper in which the RV144 vaccine trial, originally done in Thailand from 2003 to 2006 , is revisited and points to possible leads for an effective vaccine.

"Findings from further studies using a reformulation of the only HIV vaccine that has ever worked in a large efficacy trial were presented at the recent HIV Research for Prevention conference (HIVR4P). They showed evidence of stronger antibody responses, and in-depth analysis of these responses shows that by further developing a similar vaccine it may be possible to push the immune system into generating an antibody response to HIV that is sufficiently strong to prevent most infections.

"The RV144 vaccine had such a slight beneficial effect that when its results were first announced, some people wondered if they were not just a statistical fluke. It did prevent four out of ten HIV infections that would otherwise have happened in its original trial in Thailand, but the results observed were only just statistically significant. This was largely because the vaccine’s efficacy appeared to wane with time – if the trial had been stopped a year after the first injection, its efficacy would have been 60%. It also seemed to have little effect in people at higher risk of HIV such as people who inject drugs and gay men.

"At last year’s AIDS Vaccine conference in Barcelona, however, several studies were presented that showed the RV144 vaccine’s effects were real and depended on a very specific kind of antibody response to HIV that developed in some, but not all, vaccine recipients."

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