AIDS Vaccine

Is a vaccine for AIDS at hand?  Last week amid great scientific pronouncements, it was announced that a just concluded study on a new AIDS vaccine had demonstrated a positive effect on lowering the risk of contacting AIDS. In fact, the vaccine cut the risk of contacting AIDS by 31.2%. Now this sounds pretty good to me and I am sure, to most of the people who read or heard the news release.

When I talk to people about nutrition and minerals in maintaining good health, I always couch what I say with the caveat that they shouldn’t just believe me, but should do their own research, evaluate the information and come to their own conclusions. I decided I should follow my own advice and really take a hard look at this information and find out how the researchers came to the conclusions they did.

First of all, it is important to know that $105 million dollars of your tax dollars sponsored and funded this study via the National Institute of Allergies and Disease and that the Thai Ministry of Public Health conducted it in Thailand. This, at a time when our own economy is virtually imploding. One drug was made by a European company and the other one by Merck and Co. The Merck drug had failed miserably when tested by itself. There was no mention as to the logic of combining a failed drug with an untested drug. How will the researchers ever know which one if either worked? The test group got 6 injections over 6 months, 4 of the untested drug and 2 of the failed drug, presumably at the beginning of the trial. It was not disclosed whether the trial participants were given any AIDS education or screened for their sexual habits, perhaps making one group more vulnerable to contacting the disease.

The test results sound great until you look closely at the actual numbers. The trial consisted of 8201 test subjects and 8201 control subjects. All participants were observed over a 3 year period and evaluated at the end of 3 years. There was no mention of the numerical results at year 1 or year 2. At the end of the 3 years, it was determined that there were 74 AIDS cases in the unvaccinated group and 51 in the vaccinated group. The 31.2% figure is calculated by subtracting 51 from 74, which is 23, and dividing 23 by 74. Bottom line, there were 23 fewer cases of AIDS out of 8201 vaccinated people than in the group that was not vaccinated. While certainly on the positive side of the ledger, I think a more accurate way to look at the numbers would be to divide the 23 by the 8201. That number would tell you how much less of a chance you have of getting AIDS by getting vaccinated. This number is .0002.

.0002 is .02%. In statistics and using just plain logic, this amount is insignificant and of no relevance. Chance alone could have made the results swing the same amount or more in the opposite direction. The 23 non-cases of AIDS equates to less than 1 per thousand per year of the study. Another question must be asked. If the vaccine kept 7949 of the test group free from AIDS, why didn’t it work for everyone? Shouldn’t a vaccine work for everyone?

Another comment made by the researchers was in their evaluation of the severity of the infection. They found no difference between the severities of infection in the vaccinated group in comparison to the non-vaccinated group. The conclusion then made was that the vaccine helped prevent infection but did nothing to affect the virus once it is in the body. I find that conclusion quite amusing. Vaccines do not work outside the human body. They work by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies that will attack the invading virus. Using this logic, the vaccines did not do this. It is not discussed whether they tested the subject’s blood for antibodies to the virus’ in question or if they even have that technical capability. Another comment made in the article was that “the immune responses that were generated by the vaccine should not, in theory, have protected anyone.” If that is the case, why even run the study? Also the comment was made that the vaccine might not work in the people and places where HIV is most common among men who have sex with men and among injecting drug users. I always thought this was the primary target of the vaccine. Any effective vaccine would work on everyone, wouldn’t it?

It seems to me that for a fraction of the money spent on this study, a pamphlet could have been written and distributed to millions of people potentially at risk of contacting AIDS.

An informational pamphlet that discussed how AIDS is transmitted as well as basic nutrition and sanitation would have probably brought the numbers reported in this test down to near zero. We also know that being cellularly replete in selenium and zinc is the simplest way to maintain the body’s immune system in top notch condition. Why isn’t anyone looking at these two elemental minerals? In fact, researchers have demonstrated their effectiveness. The reason pharmaceutical companies don’t is that they can’t be patented and therefore these companies can’t pocket obscene amounts of money.

What you are actually witnessing here is very poor, if not meaningless, results of a very expensive expenditure of US tax dollars in order to not look foolish and to hopefully garner more grant money to spend in the future. Additionally, you are also observing the failure of the germ theory of medicine. In this case, as in all disease states, it is the status of the individuals terrain, not the virulence of the pathogen that determines who will get sick and who will not.

One last thought on the Germ Theory. As I discussed two months ago, the swine flu vaccine is now beginning to be administered with disastrous results. Please read the article posted on and prepare yourself for some heavy consequences as the swine flu vaccine begins to be administered on many hapless souls. I pray you will avoid it like the plague for I believe the real disease is in the vaccine.

In good health,

Rick Wagner, M.S.,C.N.