New HIV Vaccine May Make Huge Advances In Reducing Infection

Some exciting news in the medical world: a new HIV vaccine, called RV 144, has proved effective in reducing infection rates of the sexually transmitted disease by 31 percent. A combination of two previously tested vaccines, the formula was administered to some 16,000 people in Thailand as part of a three-year research program. Half the participants received a placebo, 74 percent of whom became infected with HIV. Comparatively, only 51 percent of the vaccinated group became infected. (Side note: Wow, still … those are some pretty scary odds.) Interestingly, the American military played a role in the program because HIV poses a “national security threat.”Despite the vaccine’s relative success, scientists unfortunately can’t quite claim victory and say, “Hey! We found a cure!” because they’re not sure why it worked. The good news is that the Thailand trial marks a milestone in AIDS research, and now scientists can work on making the vaccine more effective. Wonder if ever there were to be a shot that protected you from AIDS, if it would become mandatory in the U.S.? [CNN]