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Possible clues found to why HIV vaccine showed modest protection

Insights into how the first vaccine ever reported to modestly prevent HIV infection in people might have worked were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Scientists have found that among adults who received the experimental HIV vaccine during the landmark RV144 clinical trial, those who produced relatively high levels of a specific antibody after vaccination were less likely to get infected with the virus than those who did not. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, co-funded the research.

The study authors note that different vaccine candidates may protect against HIV in different ways. Therefore, more research is needed to understand whether these new findings will be relevant to other types of HIV vaccines or to similar vaccines tested against HIV strains from other regions or against different routes of exposure to the virus, according to the authors.

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