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Thailand announces breakthrough in HIV vaccine development

Thailand on Thursday announced the breakthrough in the HIV vaccine development -- the first time ever that there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventive efficacy.

"It is found that the vaccine has 31.2 percent efficacy in reducing the risk of HIV infection," Thai Public Health Minister Withaya Kaewparadai told a press conference in capital Bangkok.

Withaya presided over the official announcement of the outcome of the HIV Vaccine Phase III Trial.

The Public Health Ministry conducted the study, which used strains of HIV common in Thailand. Sponsor of the trial is the U.S.Army Surgeon General, with funding support from the National Institute of Health and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, while sanofi-pasteur and GSID provide candidate vaccines for the trial.

With field research works implemented by Thais and deemed the world's largest HIV vaccine study, with the trial of 16,402 Thai volunteers, has now been completed in central provinces of Chonburi and Rayong, Withaya said.

Withaya said although the efficacy rate is not high enough for use, this nonetheless constitutes significant knowledge that can be applied to improve HIV vaccine efficacy in the future.

"All these will form an important foundation for further HIV vaccine development in Thailand in the future," said Doctor PaijitWarachit, Deputy Health Permanent Secretary.

Meanwhile, Doctor Mom Luang Somchai Chakkrabhand, Director-General, Department of Disease Control, said that "HIV vaccine development must be accompanied by intensive application of other preventive measures."

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 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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