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

ork that will lead to eventual access to an effective vaccine for people around the world, " Warren said.

The trial team and Thai collaborators held extensive consultations to determine next steps in various scenarios and determined that a vaccine effect of 50% or higher would trigger a licensure application in Thailand. This finding does not reach this threshold. The same consultations determined that a modest effect, such as was reported today, would trigger additional discussions about the way forward. These new consultations are an essential next step and should include a range of stakeholders including members of communities that might use such a vaccine.

Stakeholders within Thailand and around the world must recognize and rise to the challenge of explaining the promise of this proof of concept as well as the rationale for proceeding with a thorough consultative process and data analysis before making any decisions about future access.

It is important to note that the two vaccines tested in the Thai trial contain synthetic fragments of subtype E, one of the most common HIV strains circulating in Thailand and Southeast Asia. The regimen also contains subtype B, which is most common in North America and Europe. Therefore this result estimates the level of protection conferred by a vaccine that includes genetic fragments matched to the common circulating subtype. Scientists do not know whether a vaccine that is effective against the strains that are found in a given geographical area will also be effective in other areas and against other strains of HIV. The trial collaborators and other experts are already planning follow-up studies to confirm and elaborate on this and other findings from this trial.

"This is an astonishing scientific achievement, well beyond the expectations of many scientists. It starts a new chapter in the search for an HIV vaccine: to make highly protective vaccines
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SOURCE AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition
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