Feb. 4, 2020 -- A clinical trial for an HIV vaccine has been halted after it was concluded that it did not prevent infection with the AIDS-causing virus, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said Monday.
The agency sponsored the trial, which was being conducted in South Africa, CNN reported.
"An HIV vaccine is essential to end the global pandemic, and we hoped this vaccine candidate would work. Regrettably, it does not," Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID director, said in a statement.
"Research continues on other approaches to a safe and effective HIV vaccine, which I still believe can be achieved," he added.
The announcement that the HIV vaccine clinical trial has been stopped is a "deep disappointment," said a news release from the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, a group formed to spur efforts to develop an HIV vaccine, CNN reported.
"Whilst this is a significant setback for the field, we need to continue the quest for a preventive vaccine. The rates of HIV infection, which continue unabated in this region, should spur greater urgency, global attention and investment to the quest," Linda-Gail Bekker, immediate past president of the International AIDS Society, said in a statement.