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A vaccine that prevents HIV transmission is considered to be the most effective public health tool against the global pandemic; however vaccine research results have been disappointing to date and there is no clear estimate as to when a safe, effective vaccine might be available.

The RV144 trial in Thailand in 2009 was the first human vaccine study to show a statistically significant reduction in the risk of acquiring HIV.

The level of risk reduction was, however, quite small, and RV144 had other limitations, including reduced effectiveness over time and no apparent efficacy in people at higher risk of HIV such as gay men and people who inject drugs.

Recent trials of the RV144 vaccine protocol have had mixed results but suggest that further development may improve efficacy.

The Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC) provides information about ongoing vaccine trials and results.

The The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is a global not-for-profit organisation which conducts vaccine research, policy analysis and advocacy.

AFAO's role

AFAO was involved in two AIDS vaccine trials early this century: one was the trial of a novel Australian DNA-fowlpox construct developed by Australian Thai Vaccine Consortium, and the second was the Merck adenovirus vaccines (also known as the Step study). Neither of the vaccines were proved to be effective.


This page was published on 12 January, 2011

This page was reviewed on 19 October 2015