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AIDS Vaccines

There is momentum and promise in the search for an AIDS vaccine.

An effective preventive AIDS vaccine would teach the body how to prevent HIV infection. Vaccines are the most powerful public health tools available—and an AIDS vaccine would play a powerful role in ensuring the end to the AIDS epidemic. 

While effective vaccines remain years away, there are more reasons for hope than ever before. Researchers are expanding on the result of a 2009 trial that showed, for the first time, that a vaccine can reduce the risk of HIV infection. They’re also pursuing groundbreaking research with other novel vaccine strategies, including broadly neutralizing antibodies that target a wide range of HIV strains. At the same time, there is also exciting work in efforts to understand if and how to cure HIV in people who are already infected. The timeline for this work is long and uncertain. Here, too, advocacy is needed to sustain momentum.

Today’s momentum depends on sustained funding. Policy makers and funders around the world must have the courage to sustain vital AIDS vaccine research for years to come, and advocates must keep the pressure on them to maintain their commitments.

What We're Reading

Nobel prize-winner Harold Varmus and his co-authors offer a “rethink” of fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem. The paper is not specific to AIDS vaccines but many of its issues, including the need to engage younger researchers and to operate in the context of limited resources, are highly resonant for the field.

April 22, 2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

In April, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, along with other leaders in the AIDS vaccine research field, reviewed scientific and technical advances in the field and what Dr. Fauci termed a “3-pronged approach” to vaccine development.

April 21, 2014
American Journal of Managed Care
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