AIDS Vaccines Fail To Make The Cut

In the lastest setback to AIDS research, the US-funded STEP and Phambili studies were shut down when it became clear the vaccines could leave patients more suceptible to the virus which attackes th immune system and which killed more than 2m victims last year – 320,000 of them being children. The fields tests enrolled volunteers on four continents.

The STEP study involved male homosexuals from North & South America, the Caribbean and Austraila. The Phambili trial, involving more than 3,000 men and women heterosexual volunteers in South Africa, was halted less than 1 year into its 4 year schedule after it too raised fears that the vaccines could endanger patients.  It was revealed that the vaccines not only fail to protect the virus but could also put them at greater risk of becoming infected. Both studies were stopped last September.

Half in each trail were randomly assigned to three shots of vaccines and half to  three of a placebo.

The AIDS Virus infects an estimated 33m people globally -most living in Africa. It has killed 25m people since 1981.

{Adapted from International Press Reports}

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