News sources everywhere are publishing optimistic headlines about the largest ever HIV vaccine trial going on right now in Thailand. But how excited should we really be? An article from UNAIDS spells out exactly what’s going on, and what it means for the world.
The study results reveal that there is a 31.2% vaccine efficacy in preventing HIV infections. While this can only be charaterized as modestly effective, these results represent new hope in HIV vaccine development. Basically, the vaccine in question, RV144, cannot be put on the market, but the data collected in Thailand this September could serve as an important foundation for the discovery of a highly effective vaccine.
The article also mentions another obstacle standing in the way of RV144; researches yet need to illucidate weather RV144 would be applicable to other regions of the world where different HIV subtypes are predominant against different host genetic backgrounds.
UNAIDS and WHO stress that until a highly effective vaccine becomes available, proven preventative messures should still be practiced.