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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

Science reports that researcher Robert Gallo and his team at the Institute of Human Virology will be launching a phase 1 HIV vaccine study to assess the safety and immune responses of a “full-length single chain” vaccine. The vaccine contains a protein called gp120, engineered to link to the CD4 receptor and block attachment to CCR5, disrupting the infection process.

October 8, 2015

Zimbabwe will start its first HIV vaccine clinical trial as soon as regulatory approvals are achieved. The trial, named HVTN 107, will enroll 24 Zimbabwean participants (of a planned total 132 participants) to test a vaccine similar to the one that reduced risk of HIV infection by 31 percent in the RV144 trial in Thailand. HVTN 107 will also run in South Africa and Mozambique. An overview of AIDS vaccine research can be found here.

August 30, 2015
Zim Daily

Anthony Fauci and Hilary Marston recount the history of HIV vaccine research, from initial efforts in the early 1980s to current research approaches.

July 24, 2015
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