AIDS Vaccine May Increase Infection Risk

A recent testing on an experimental AIDS vaccine was halted because of alarming data that it could actually increase the risk of infection. The problem is that the vaccine was tested on over 3,000 human volunteers.

Researchers over at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stressed that they do not have enough information to say who among the volunteers are more susceptible to the disease, but they are worried on the statistics that 24 cases of HIV infection were seen among those who received at least one dose of the test vaccine.

However, they insisted that the infection were not caused by the vaccine alone.

The vaccine uses three pieces of DNA from the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, which is carried by a common virus that normally causes upper respiratory infections called an adenovirus.

The first trial began in 2004 with volunteers from the United States as well as Central America, South America, and Australia. The second trial began in South Africa.

In spite of what happened, AIDS workers hoped the investigation would not frighten people away from taking part in AIDS vaccine trials.

HIV has affected nearly 40 million people around the world and has killed 25 million people. There is no known cure until now. So far, efforts to develop a vaccine have been almost completely ineffective.

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