To the Editor.
—Recent reports in the lay press revealed that eight of more than 1400 volunteers participating in phase I and II human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine studies being conducted by the AIDS Vaccine Clinical Trials Network sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have developed intercurrent infection with HIV-1. Because the vaccines tested to date consist only of the gp120 protein and not reverse transcriptase or other components necessary for viral replication, and are products produced by recombinant DNA technology or chemical peptide synthesis, it is not possible to acquire HIV infection from the vaccines.1 The occurrence of HIV infection among volunteers, particularly those who may engage in high-risk behavior, is not unexpected. In studies of vaccines against other diseases, intercurrent infection often occurs. It is important for physicians and other health care workers to be aware of the facts so they can answer
Belshe RB, Bolognesi DP, Clements ML, Corey L, Dolin R, Mestecky J, Mulligan M, Stablein D, Wright P. HIV Infection in Vaccinated Volunteers. JAMA. 1994;272(6):431. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520060029015