Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Body Pushes for HIV Vaccines Full-Scale Trials of Two Experimental Medicines Will Be Carried Out

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Body Pushes for HIV Vaccines Full-Scale Trials of Two Experimental Medicines Will Be Carried Out

Article excerpt

In a sharp turnaround driven by a desperate need to stop the AIDS epidemic, the World Health Organization is moving ahead with plans for the first large trials of the two most widely tested experimental AIDS vaccines.

The United States rejected plans for testing the vaccines in this country in June.

By a nearly unanimous decision last month, an advisory panel of experts gave the Geneva-based health organization a green light to design and carry out full-scale trials of the effectiveness of the two experimental vaccines against HIV, the AIDS virus.

Both vaccines have gone through the first two stages of a three-stage testing system, evaluating safety and immunologic responses. The third phase tests the vaccines' ability to protect against the disease, and the trials now being planned could involve several thousand volunteers.

The experiments are aimed at determining whether the vaccines can prevent infection with HIV, not whether they can prevent AIDS in people already infected with HIV.

Developing an AIDS vaccine has been a top priority for public health officials around the world since shortly after AIDS was first recognized in 1981. …

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