Elias Mbao
All Africa.com
January 13, 2010

Lusaka — A failed clinical trial HIV vaccine that left 46 Zambian women infected with the virus has sparked controversy.

The Microbicides Development Programme (MDP) 301 trial, which was testing if the gel PRO2000 would prevent HIV infection took place between September 2005 and 2009.

HIV negative women were recruited but the results, which the Ministry of Health does not wish to comment on, revealed that between 46 and 50 of women that participated in the clinical trial contracted HIV despite using PRO2000 gel before sex.

“Some participants did become HIV positive because the study was conducted in the normal environment,” confirmed Dr Maureen Chisembele, principal investigator for Microbicides Development Programme Zambia – a subsidiary of the UK based research entity.