HIV vaccine trial halted after 'disappointing' results

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Feb 04, 2020, 11.14 AM(IST)

Representative Image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

The trial was called HVTN 702 and it was being conducted on 5,000 people in South Africa.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has discontinued clinical trial for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine after the vaccine failed to prevent infections of HIV which causes AIDS.

Its trial had begun in 2016 and 5,407 HIV-negative volunteers at 14 sites across South Africa were enrolled for it.

According to Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, "an HIV vaccine is essential to end the global pandemic, and we hoped this vaccine candidate would work. Regrettably, it does not".

Also read: Hopes for HIV vaccine buoyed by start of second big trial

"Research continues on other approaches to a safe and effective HIV vaccine, which I still believe can be achieved," he said.

The researchers expressed ''deep disappointment'' on the failure of the vaccine but they added that the search for a preventive vaccine is imperative and must continue.

Also see: HIV deaths in India are in a decline

The study was halted after an independent data and safety monitoring board discovered that the vaccine was ineffective in preventing the deadly virus.

The vaccine was a new version of the first HIV-vaccine which did prove to be useful in combatting the virus in the RVV144 clinical trial in Thailand.

The trial was called Uhambo or HVTN 702 and it was being conducted on 5,000 people in South Africa.

After an assessment of the study, it was proved that there was no significant difference in subsequent HIV infections.