A new cocktail of vaccines has been successful in blocking the AIDS virus, in what is being hailed as a major medical breakthrough in the fight against the deadly epidemic.
Researchers in Thailand found combining two vaccines previously proven ineffective when used alone cut the risk of HIV infection by more than 31% for 16,000 participants, The Associated Press reported. The AIDS vaccine trial, which was the largest in history, tracked participants for three years after the vaccination ended.
“It's the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine," said U.S. Army Col. Jerome Kim. The Army sponsored the study with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases.
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Each day 7,500 people worldwide are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Two million died of AIDS in 2007, according to the United Nations.
Still, scientists cautioned that a lot work is still needed to improve the vaccine. They said it was unclear whether the new vaccine would also prove effective against strains of the virus outside Thailand, or whether patients would need periodic booster shots.
Get more: MSNBC