About That HIV Vaccine

Elizabeth Pisani sorts through the conflicting press reports:

I finally got around to combing through the full report of the trial in the New England Journal of Medicine. Both the optimists and the pessimists are right. It really depends on what your hopes and expectations were. If you are a basic scientist (as most of the people involved in the study were) you’d be pretty thrilled by the results, because they show that vaccines might one day work. If you are a public health boffin such as myself, you’d be pretty disappointed, because the study suggests that that this vaccine doesn’t work for the people who really need it a point much underplayed in the official reports.