The National Institutes of Health has decided to cancel a large-scale test of an experimental AIDS vaccine, saying that more focused research was needed on the way such vaccines interact with the immune system before the trial, known as PAVE 100, could proceed. The PAVE trial was designed to include over 8500 people. The vaccine to be tested was similar in some regards to a vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Merck that failed in a study last fall. Both vaccines, rather than preventing infection, were designed to stimulate an immune response that would help infected individuals to keep HIV levels in check within the bloodstream. In this segment, Ira talks with Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the decision not to proceed with the large PAVE 100 study. What challenges do researchers need to work out to be able to produce and effective AIDS vaccine?
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer