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Investigational Vaccine Shows Modest Potential For Protecting Against HIV Infection

For the first time, scientists say an investigational vaccine has modest potential for protecting people against HIV infection, the Associated Press reports. “The vaccine — a combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines — cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by … 31 percent in the world’s largest [HIV] vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok,” the news service writes (Marchione/Casey, 9/24).

African Leaders Malaria Alliance Launched At U.N. General Assembly

On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday, African heads of state formed a 20-member African Leaders Malaria Alliance with the goal of eliminating deaths from malaria by 2015, the Associated Press writes. “With an estimated 500 million annual cases, Africa is the continent most affected by malaria, accounting for 86 percent of all cases and 91 percent of all malaria deaths worldwide, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania said at the alliance’s launch,” the news service writes (9/24).

WHO Lowers Expectation Of H1N1 Vaccine Output, Appeals For Donations To Fight Pandemic

International drug makers are expected to produce three billion doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, “enough for just under half the world’s population,” a WHO official said Thursday, Canwest News Service/Ottawa Citizen reports. “The agency was hoping pharmaceutical companies would be able to make about five billion doses a year, but data collected over the summer led to the revised estimate,” the news service writes.

Ban, Clinton Call For Increased Food Security Efforts

At a meeting on Saturday of “leaders, ministers, experts and non-governmental organizations from nearly 100 countries,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for greater urgency in the fight against hunger, Agence France-Presse reports.

First U.S. Patients Could Receive H1N1 Vaccine Next Week

U.S. health officials announced Thursday the first batches of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine the government ordered will begin arriving in designated locations across the country on Tuesday and may be administered in the first patients by the end of next week, Reuters reports.

MSF Calls On Drug Companies To Pool HIV Patents

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) recently launched an e-mail campaign calling on nine of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to “release their patents on specific HIV drugs into a collective pool that will increase access and affordability to treatment in developing countries,” Inter Press Service reports.