Experimental HIV vaccine 'reduces infection'

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posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 06:59 AM
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Some good news perhaps?

HIV vaccine 'reduces infection'


An experimental HIV vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection, researchers say.

The vaccine - a combination of two earlier experimental vaccines - was given to 16,000 people in Thailand, in the largest ever such vaccine trial.

Researchers found that it reduced by nearly a third the risk of contracting HIV, the virus that leads to Aids.

It has been hailed as a significant, scientific breakthrough, but a global vaccine is still some way off.


It is hard to say for sure that the vaccine is responsible for the results. But it could be a step in the right direction. And you have to say that 51 people given the vaccine still got HIV! Some vaccine!


"We should be cautious, but hopeful. The discovery needs urgent replication and investigation."


Maybe they are onto something, fingers crossed!




posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 02:15 PM
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Hi Kiwifoot,

thanks for posting this. This study and its findings form a good example of how misleading such things can be. While on the surface this reported 31% reduction in infection looks promising, they have skewed the figures in a very un-scientific way by only considering those test subjects who actually became infected. What they should have done is shown the infection rates as percentages relative to both the trial (innoculated) group and the placebo group. Then we would see if there is a statistically significant result that might be attributable to the vaccine.

You have probably seen how infection rates for "swine flu" and other epidemics/pandemics are quoted both as net figures -- ie actual cases logged -- and as infections/100,000 of population. That is the correct way to do it, because without including the data of the size of the total subject group, the whole thing becomes misleading at best and meaningless at worst.

According to that article which summarizes the HIV Vaccine Trial, 8,197 people were given the vaccine and 8,198 were given a placebo. After three years, 51 of the vaccinated group had become infected with HIV, compared to 74 of the placebo group. So, let's look at the percentages of those infected in relation to all the people who participated in the study.

Percentages (Numbers rounded to 2 sig figs):

Of the vaccine group of 8,197, 0.62% (51) became infected -- and 99.38% (8146) did not.

Of the placebo group of 8,198, 0.90% (74) became infected -- and 99.10% (8,124) did not.

Of the total group of 16,395, 0.76% (125) became infected -- and 99.24% (16,270) did not.

Statistically, then, for any person in the group chosen at random (with no knowledge of whether they were vaccinated or not), the chances of this individual not being infected worked out at 99.24%, which is only 0.14% worse than if they were one of the vaccinated.

To put it another way, the vaccinated group only improved their odds of not being infected by 0.28%, compared to the placebo group. This is such a small statistical difference that it falls well inside pure-chance variation. There has to be an allowance for variation due to chance because we are dealing with humans and a communicable disease that's related to social behaviour, so even slight variations in the way the subjects behaved over that three-year period would yield some differences in their infection risk. A net infection rate difference of 0.28% between the two groups is negligible. It certainly wouldn't make me feel confident about using that vaccine as a protection against HIV infection.

This is why I say that their claim of 31% is misleading, because it only considers the participants who got infected, and not the two complete groups who were being monitored for those three years.

But don't get me wrong: I applaud the efforts of these researchers in trying to do something to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, and also have nothing but admiration for all the people who volunteered to take part in the study. I just feel that the researchers were clutching at straws when they came up with that "31%" figure, and actually I suspect that the relatively low overall rate of infection in a high-risk region like Thailand was probably due to the counselling that all participants received. If the participants had not received any counselling at all about HIV prevention then the infection rates would likely have been higher -- and we might then have seen if the vaccine's effects were actually of any statistical significance.

According to avert.org, the rate of HIV infection among adults in Thailand is over 1%, so as this studied group is well below that, the counselling was probably a contributing positive factor.

(Ref: HIV and AIDS in Thailand )

Best regards,

Mike



[edit on 24/9/09 by JustMike]



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by JustMike
 


Hey Mike, thanks a lot for your reply, and for your great analysis of the figures.

I agree totally, this small variation in the number of infections is probably down to chance.

To determine if a vaccine worked you would really need to have a test group intentionally come into contact with HIV and see how many managed to not be infected. I don't believe too many people would come forward for such a trial though - especially in any placebo group!

But I guess at the very least it gives those working on HIV vaccines another avenue to explore.

I agree though, my respect to the volunteers and doctors, who knows, maybe after a more suitable trial they may eventually find that they are onto something!



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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Here's hoping, and let's test even the results. If even 1 life was saved by the vaccine (say for example yours), would it be worth it?



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by JustMike
 


Hi Justmike

Great post, you actually laid it out very well.

When I read the article this morning, I was dumbstruck that anyone could actually even consider this a possible vaccine by these means of research and results, in my eyes there is absolutely no indication that this vaccine actually even works.

Whats even worse, this reseach has cost a whopping £100 Million for these insignificant results. I cannot help wonder how this research has actually cost so much......

I think, all in all I have these questions:
- Why did it cost so much? Another excuse for disappearing public funds?
- Why the big hype (News) with no significant (provable) results for a vacine still in trial stage?
- Could this be just more vaccine pushing propaganda?
- Is it only me, or is it really fishy and coincidence this comes out 1 day after the succesful skin cancer meds hype (Which is only in trial stages itself)
- Breaking news today, just as scientists predicted, October will have high swine flu cases, as they are already showing an increase in the UK with October around the corner...yet tempratures have not even started dropping...wonder how they so acurately predicted a major variable?

To say that I am sceptical, would be an over statement!

edit to add:
Just been wondering whether big pharma, is now being exploited by TPTB to compensate for losses from the banking crisis. Maybe even becoming their new income source as audit trails in research are harder to establish.



[edit on 9/24/2009 by corvin77]



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 07:15 PM
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HIV vaccine is the next year plan, hahahaha

you will have to take it once a year to 'reduce' possibility of 'infection'

yayaya (my bet is Merck)

(special info sources)

HIV is scam and aids is scam, italian health ministry legally confirmed there is no HIV-AIDS link, i say - there is no HIV at all and no such things as Viruses (confirmed by me)

heres italian info, google 'Aids denialism at the ministry of health'


s u m m a r y
We investigated epidemiological evidences regarding HIV infection and AIDS spread in Italy resorting
only to official data published by the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità)
and by the Italian Ministry of Health (Ministero del Lavoro, della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali). Based
on the data and documents provided for by the Italian Health Authorities, we came to the conclusion
(hypothesis) that the Italian Ministry of Health appears to be convinced that HIV is not the (sole) cause
of AIDS. Consistent with this hypothesis, according to the Ministry, AIDS can be diagnosed in the absence
of signs of HIV infection; there is legal prohibition to communicate new HIV infections to referring physicians
and Health Authorities as if HIV spread were not a threat to public health; consistent with the previous
point, no national registry of HIV infection is implemented; and AIDS is not classified among
relevant infective diseases nor among infective diseases that are susceptible of control interventions;
one fourth of paediatric AIDS cases is not imputable to mother–son transmission.
_ 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 

Hi kiwifoot,

I agree that the only rigorous way of testing a virus vaccine’s effectiveness in humans is for the participants to be exposed to the pathogen. While in vitro testing can indicate possible outcomes it is no substitute for real-life situations. However, as a placebo test group do not know that they have not really been given the vaccine under trial, finding volunteers would be nigh-on impossible…


Originally posted by saint4God
Here's hoping, and let's test even the results. If even 1 life was saved by the vaccine (say for example yours), would it be worth it?


Well, we can use that argument, but on the other hand we can also look at it like this: in the trial we are looking at, the difference between the two groups worked out at around 1 person in 400 infected or not infected, depending on which group. I wouldn’t feel at all protected by a vaccine that offered those odds.


Originally posted by corvin77
reply to post by JustMike
 

…When I read the article this morning, I was dumbstruck that anyone could actually even consider this a possible vaccine by these means of research and results, in my eyes there is absolutely no indication that this vaccine actually even works.

Whats even worse, this reseach has cost a whopping £100 Million for these insignificant results. I cannot help wonder how this research has actually cost so much…


Yes, and very few scientists who are not in the pay of certain big pharma companies or govt entities would even credit these results as showing anything at all. They have all had it hammered into them during their studies and after that statistics must be presented correctly and assessed objectively, which this report does not.

A major factor in the huge cost in such a long-term survey is the need for extensive laboratory analysis of the samples taken from the participants, both at the outset (pre-Trial) and every six months thereafter, along with full physical exams of them all as well. This requires a fair number of lab specialists, top-quality equipment including electron microscopes and other nice toys, and of course a whole bunch of medical doctors. Then there are the support staff for the counseling and of course the office people as well. Just producing the vaccine at trial stage is also very costly.




I think, all in all I have these questions:
- Why did it cost so much? Another excuse for disappearing public funds?
- Why the big hype (News) with no significant (provable) results for a vacine still in trial stage?
- Could this be just more vaccine pushing propaganda?
- Is it only me, or is it really fishy and coincidence this comes out 1 day after the succesful skin cancer meds hype (Which is only in trial stages itself)
- Breaking news today, just as scientists predicted, October will have high swine flu cases, as they are already showing an increase in the UK with October around the corner...yet tempratures have not even started dropping...wonder how they so acurately predicted a major variable?

To say that I am sceptical, would be an over statement!


I guess you mean understatement.
But like you I’m not just skeptical, I’m appalled at the fact that even Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN has presented this story as if it’s a big deal -- and has quoted that “31%” figure, which he has to know is nonsensical and unscientific. Considering that Dr Gupta’s name was put out as a possible US Surgeon General that’s disturbing. So yes, there are some shenanigans going on.

I hadn’t heard about the skin cancer meds so can’t comment on that except to say that sometimes these news releases might seem co-incidental, but we have to bear in mind that these studies get published in major medical journals. This means that two or three of these reports can break on the news at around the same time if they are either just published, or due to be published in an upcoming journal issue.

About the increase in UK swine flu cases. They’ve had a raft of cases all through summer as well and scientists were scratching their heads as to why, because traditionally, flu cases drop off in summer. But I wonder if they’ve considered how wet the summer was? Higher humidity can increase the chances of airborne transfer of infectious viruses.



edit to add:
Just been wondering whether big pharma, is now being exploited by TPTB to compensate for losses from the banking crisis. Maybe even becoming their new income source as audit trails in research are harder to establish.
[edit on 9/24/2009 by corvin77]


Well, big pharma has been exploiting the people -- I mean, TPTB have been exploiting big pharma’s fear-driven areas of business for a long time.
Doubtful that the pharma companies’ earnings/taxes could offset banking crisis losses by any appreciable amount, but every penny helps I guess.

reply to post by angelx666
 

That’s an interesting angle you’ve presented. I would have thought that the Italians would follow WHO guidelines as a general rule, along with those of the EU. If you can obtain more information about the Italians’ perspective I’m sure we’d be interested.

I do feel the need to comment on your following statement:


there is no HIV at all and no such things as Viruses (confirmed by me)


I would like to know how you confirmed that viruses do not exist. Are you a microbiologist? Those who specialize in viruses are called virologists, but I assume you aren’t a virologist as you say that viruses don’t exist. So, how did you confirm their non-existence? Do you have access to electron microscopes, for example, and have you done many detailed studies of patients infected with (say) the common cold -- which is claimed to have around 100 virus variants -- and found that none of these patients were infected with any viruses at all? I’m sure we would all be interested to know because if viruses don’t exist and it’s known that the common cold is not a bacterial infection, then what is the pathogen?

If you could reply with some details and perhaps links to any research you have published that confirms your statement that there are no viruses, then I am sure we’d all appreciate it very much.

Thank you.

Mike

Edit to add: by the way Angelx666, Italy does have a national registry of HIV infection and its data were accessed for the study entitled Epidemiological changes in AIDS and HIV infection in Italy, which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases Vol 35, issue S106, Dec 2003, and whose extract can be accessed here. So the statement you have reproduced in your post -- that claims "no national registry of HIV infection is implemented" -- is false.

[edit on 25/9/09 by JustMike]





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