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HIV-negative volunteers who took part in a failed HIV vaccine trial in South Africa are being warned that the vaccine may actually have increased their risk of getting HIV. The vaccine, which had been developed by Merck & Co., was also tested in the United States and Latin America. The United States hasn't yet decided whether to contact volunteers in the Americas and let them know whether they took the vaccine or a placebo, although volunteers who ask will be told. The failed HIV vaccine can't actually infect someone with HIV directly, but it could potentially cause immune system changes that might make HIV transmission easier when a person is exposed to the virus.

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