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The experimental vaccine against the AIDS virus for the 2016 clinical trial. Photo: Mujahid Safodien/AFP via Getty Images

A vaccine aimed at preventing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has failed and will end its clinical trial in South Africa early, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Why it matters: About 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS globally, according to 2018 data from the World Health Organization. South Africa has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with young women especially at risk.

"An HIV vaccine is essential to end the global pandemic, and we hoped this vaccine candidate would work. Regrettably, it does not. Research continues on other approaches to a safe and effective HIV vaccine, which I still believe can be achieved."
— Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, said in a written statement on Monday

Details: The trial, sponsored by NIAID, began in 2016 with 5,407 HIV-negative volunteers across South Africa and was supposed to end in July 2022.

  • 129 HIV infections occurred among the vaccine recipients, and 123 HIV infections occurred among the placebo recipients.
  • There is no evidence that the vaccine caused harm, NIAID said.
  • The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise expressed "deep disappointment" in learning the trial was ending, according to a statement.

What's next: Two late-stage, multinational HIV vaccine trials are still being conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

Go deeper: HIV-positive babies could benefit from treatment days after birth

Go deeper

34 mins ago - Health

First blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer's goes public

Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./C2N Diagnostics via AP

A non-COVID medical breakthrough: People over 60 now have access to a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Why it matters: The existing PET brain scan test costs some people about $5,000 and often isn't covered by insurance, AP reports.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. 

4 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.