No monkeying around

Published: Sunday 31 January 1993

FINALLY, an AIDS vaccine that works -- on monkeys. Harvard University researchers in despair turned to the old-fashioned, but unsafe, method and injected four rhesus monkeys with a weakened, live form of SIV, the virus that causes AIDS in primates. The researchers reported that the vaccine immunised the monkeys with the longest-lasting, strongest protection achieved in any such AIDS experiment. Said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in USA, "It would be at least a year before human studies could begin." However, even if the vaccine is created, testing it on humans will pose obvious difficulties as uninfected people would be reluctant to volunteer for such experiments.

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