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Experimental vaccine shows promise with AIDS

September 24, 2009
Meg Farris / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS, LA. - An experimental vaccine cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by 31 percent.

The results were released from the world's largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand.

The study was sponsored by the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Doctors say the vaccine is not efficient enough yet to be rolled out to the public.

But local researchers who are also working on an HIV vaccine, say this gives them a huge scientific clue and points them in an important direction.

"It's very exciting news because it's the first AIDS vaccine that's ever worked and shown at least some protection in people despite like 25 years of attempts," said Dr. Alistair Ramsay, Director of the Louisiana Vaccine Center and The Gene Therapy Program at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Ramsay said this will advance what he does in his lab."The main thing it will do is it gives everyone clues as to how these vaccines might work. It gives us a little angle to look in at," he added.

This is the first time a vaccine has ever given any significant protection against getting infected with HIV.


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