Betty on the News: AIDS Vaccine Breakthrough
A new vaccine shows partial success in reducing the probability of contracting AIDS
-Margeaux Baulch Klein
A new experimental vaccine has been shown to cut the risk of AIDS by one-third, marking the first time that any vaccine has partly succeeded against the disease.
A combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines, the new drug was tested on more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand who were at an average risk for becoming infected. The participants were given the vaccine and then tracked for over a period of three years, being tested every 6 months for HIV. The result was that new infections occurred in 51 of the 8,197 people given the vaccine and in 74 of the 8,198 who received dummy shots, which works out to a 31 percent lower risk of infection for the vaccine group.
Although researchers don’t understand why the new AIDS vaccine works, any success against the deadly disease is significant, as 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV every day. (NY Times)