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Medical News & Perspectives
April 2, 2008

HIV Prevention Studies Yield Mixed Results

JAMA. 2008;299(13):1529-1530. doi:10.1001/jama.299.13.1529

Boston—Analyses of results of a trial of a failed HIV vaccine have prompted some prominent scientists to urge the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to retreat from testing candidate vaccines of questionable value and to return to the laboratory to develop new approaches.

Whether or not the agency will move to scale back vaccine trials, scientists agree that with no prospect of an effective vaccine to curb the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the foreseeable future, expanding the repertoire of prevention tools is all the more important. New findings from studies of varying prevention strategies, including male circumcision and the use of antiretroviral drugs to curb HIV transmission during breastfeeding by mothers in resource-poor settings, were presented here at the 15th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.