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HIV breakthrough as trial vaccine cuts risk of infection

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HIV researchers have made a major breakthrough with the discovery of a vaccine that can significantly reduce the risk of infection

The HIV vaccine is a combination of two earlier vaccines which had proved ineffective.

In a study carried out by the US Army and the Thai government, the largest of its kind, the vaccine was given to 16,000 people in Thailand.

Half of the volunteers were given the vaccine, while the other half were given a placebo. The researchers were keen to stress that all participants were given counselling on HIV/Aids prevention. They were then tested for HIV infection every six months for three years.

The rate of HIV infection in those who had taken the vaccine was 31.2% less than those given placebo, with 74 people who did not get the vaccine infected and 51 of the vaccinated group infected.

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