A phase II study of two HIV type 1 envelope vaccines, comparing their immunogenicity in populations at risk for acquiring HIV type 1 infection. AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group.
Several immunogens induce HIV-specific neutralization and in vitro lymphoproliferation in adults at low HIV-1 risk, but responses in persons at high HIV-1 risk are not known. We performed a multicenter, double-blinded, adjuvant-controlled trial with two gp120 vaccines in 296 HIV-1-uninfected volunteers, including 176 reporting higher HIV-1 risk activities. The immunogens were remarkably well tolerated. After three immunizations, 210 of 241 vaccinees (87%) developed neutralizing antibodies, which persisted in 59% after 2 years. The injection drug users receiving SF-2/gp120 had decreased antibody responses relative to the lower risk groups. Envelope-specific lymphoproliferation peaked after two immunizations, and 54% of vaccinees mounted a DTH reaction to gp120 after 4 years. In summary, these immunogens have low adverse reactogenicity and induce durable antibody and T cell responses to the prototype strains. Unexpected differences in antibody responses among diverse HIV-1 risk strata lend support to the conduct of expanded phase II trials in populations other than low-risk volunteers.