News of the WeekHIV/AIDS Research

Beyond Thailand: Making Sense of a Qualified AIDS Vaccine "Success"

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Science  30 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5953, pp. 652-653
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_652

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When researchers announced on 24 September that an AIDS vaccine trial had positive results for the first time in history, many wondered whether they were real. Some prominent skeptics remain, but that debate has largely given way to intense discussions about how to build on this surprising finding. Already, researchers have begun discussing the staggering challenge of probing blood samples from the more than 16,000 people in Thailand who participated in the trial to figure out which immune responses led to the modest protection reported. The key question is whether the study will help reveal the long-sought immune responses that correlate with protection.