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AVAC Praises Thai AIDS Vaccine Trial Collaborators and Volunteers for Historic Study
Date:9/24/2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Today marks an historic milestone in the search for an AIDS vaccine; we now have evidence that it is possible to reduce the risk of HIV infection with a vaccine," said AVAC executive director Mitchell Warren, reacting to the results of the first AIDS vaccine trial to ever show efficacy at preventing HIV. "It will take time and resources to fully analyze, understand and validate the data, but there is little doubt that this finding will energize and redirect the AIDS vaccine field as all of us begin the hard work to translate this landmark result into true public health benefit."

"We congratulate the trial sponsors, scientific collaborators and partners who conducted this trial, and especially want to thank the more than 16,400 Thai men and women whose altruism and commitment as trial volunteers made this effort possible. These volunteers and their communities have made an inestimable contribution to HIV prevention research. We all owe them a debt of gratitude," Warren said. "As we move forward in our search for vaccines and other new HIV prevention interventions, researchers will need the collaboration of tens of thousands more volunteers around the world in additional trials. We are confident that many more communities and individuals will follow in their footsteps."

As the trial team reported in Bangkok today, the Thai prime-boost trial found that rates of HIV infection were roughly 30 percent lower among volunteers who received the vaccine versus those who received the placebo. This is the first evidence of an AIDS vaccine providing any level of protection against HIV infection. Statistical analyses presented as part of this initial announcement support the validity of the finding. It is important to remember that the trial was a "test of concept" study designed to identify initial signs of promise in a product. The trial sponsors and implementers, led by the US
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SOURCE AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition
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