And so begins the backlash from that supposedly remarkable AIDS vaccine research study. There’s already been some criticism, but now one huge AIDS group is helping raise the question, Did the U.S. Army, National Institute of Health, and the Thai government collude to spin the results of the study as overly positive?
From a release: “AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare
provider in the US […] expressed frustration and disappointment at the news that data that seriously undermines a widely reported Thai HIV vaccine trial were not released publicly when other, more favorable data from the vaccine trial were publicly reported late last month. The release of only partial-and favorable-data, which showed initial efficacy in approximately one third of the Thai vaccine trial participants, led to worldwide favorable publicity for the thought-to-be-promising vaccine effort, which was conducted by researchers from the US Army and Thailand. According to the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 10-11, 2009), a second heretofore suppressed or previously unreleased analysis of data from the same Thai vaccine trial suggested that the ‘modest protection highlighted by researchers might be a statistical fluke.’ The Journal reported that the additional data were available to the US and Thai researchers on September 24th when they announced the trial results to worldwide acclaim, but they chose not to release them. WSJ
also noted, ‘The incomplete disclosure raises the question of whether the Army, the Thai government and the U.S. National Institutes of Health-which helped fund the study-rushed to give a positive spin to what may turn out to be another inconclusive AIDS-vaccine effort.’”