[SaneVax: Merck sponsored a clinical trial to test a new vaccine designed to prevent HIV infections beginning in 2004. The study came to an abrupt halt in 2007 when it was discovered many participants were 2 to 4 times more likely to get HIV infections after taking the vaccine.]
Trial Vaccine Made Some More Vulnerable to HIV, Study Confirms
By Donald G. McNeil Jr., New York Times
A follow-up study on an AIDS vaccine trial that had to be stopped early has confirmed the worst fears of researchers: The vaccine made it more likely, not less, that some men would become infected with H.I.V.
Men who were not circumcised and who had previously caught common colds caused by the same virus used to make the vaccine were two to four times as likely as other men to become infected if they got the vaccine, the study concluded.
The new study shed no new light on how that happened. “I really wish I could tell you why, but I can’t,” said Dr. Ann Duerr, a vaccine specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who led the data analysis for the new study.
The trial of the Merck vaccine, which involved 3,000 volunteers in nine countries, began in 2004 and was abruptly halted in late 2007 when it became clear that it was not protecting anyone and suspicions arose that it was making some men more susceptible.