Scientists and government leaders have already started mapping out how to try to improve the world's first successful, which protected one in three people from getting in a large study in Thailand.
That's not good enough for immediate use, researchers say. Yet it is a watershed event in the 26 years since the AIDS virus was discovered. Recent setbacks led many scientists to think a successful vaccine would never be possible.
The World Health Organization and the U.N. agency UNAIDS said the results "instilled new hope" in the field, even though it likely will be years before a vaccine might be widely available.
"This is truly a great moment for world medicine," said Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the U.S. Army Surgeon General. The Army helped sponsor the study, the world's largest of an AIDS vaccine.
It was the first time scientists tried preventing HIV the same way they treat it — with a combination approach. The study used two vaccines that work in different ways, and that may be one reason the strategy worked, even though neither vaccine did when tested individually in earlier trials, scientists say.
Read more about it here: AIDS Vaccine