Tuesday, September 25, 2007

HIV Vaccine Trials-- Ouch.

Im sure you all have read on Google News Heath that a couple of HIV vaccine trials have been stopped because it didnt look like the vaccines were offering any protection. I was interested in their operational definition of 'not working', as even a slight decrease in HIV infection rates in the vaccinated group vs placebo could mean there is something in the mix that is on the right track.

But this vaccine didnt work. It really didnt work.

Vaccine-- 24 infections out of 741
Placebo-- 21 infections in 762

Vaccine + boosters-- 19 infections in 672
Placebo + 'boosters'-- 11 infections in 691

Not even close to being on the right track.



Anonymous said...

Google News ... Heathcliff! News about bumbling lazy cats.

Bob O'Hara said...

Bummer, isn't it? I suspect the reaction of experienced people who work on clinical trials is "shit happens", and then get on with the next set of trials.

There's an irony here, that if something like this works, a lot of AIDS researchers will be out of jobs.


Keith Sader said...

Isn't this why you got into science?

The glamor, the glory, the trophy wives! ;-)

The rest of us out here in rational-land are still rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

ERV, I've got to give you major props for working in this field on such a daunting problem. I'm a physical chemist, and in my research, if things don't work out, I can usually salvage something interesting. You're working on an incredibly important, highly visible problem. It's visibility means that the stakes are that much higher. If it means anything to you, you have the support of a fellow scientist.

ERV said...

Honestly, I think current HIV-vaccine people are being silly. Theyre going about their design in a silly, haphazard way. The research Im doing now should have been done first, then used to INTELLIGENTLY DESIGN vaccines-- So Im not remotely surprised current vaccines arent working.

The fact they arent working at all is rather discouraging, though...

Anonymous said...

Side question: how much does the placebo effect matter for a vaccine trial? I can understand placebos for back pain or congestion, but has the placebo effect been demonstrated to reduce rates of viral infection?

J-Dog said...

I think that you posting Dembski's "eeeeeeeermehehmehem"
is better than posting what he has to say... makes more sense too.