Why did researchers cancel this clinical trial?
After an independent panel of safety experts determined that volunteers who got an experimental vaccine appeared to be slightly more likely to contract the human immunodeficiency virus than those who got a placebo. The data failed to indicate that the vaccine was having — or would ever achieve — its intended effects of reducing one’s risk of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Although this vaccine did not bring good news the NIAID said that it “remains committed to the pursuit of a highly effective, preventive HIV vaccine as part of a multifaceted HIV prevention research program.”
The World Health Organization estimates that 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV, including 2.5 million who became infected in 2011 — a statistic that underscores the need for a vaccine. More than 25 million people have died since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, according to the WHO.