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HIV Vaccine

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

An effective preventive HIV vaccine would teach the body how to prevent HIV infection. Vaccines are the most powerful public health tools available—and an HIV 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 HIV vaccine research for years to come, and advocates must keep the pressure on them to maintain their commitments.

What We're Reading

Buried within a 2009 New England Journal of Medicine article on an HIV vaccine regimen was a sentence that would change the face of HIV vaccine research for the next decade: "the modified intention-to-treat analysis showed a significant, though modest reduction in the rate of HIV-1 infection as compared with placebo."

December 3, 2019
MedPage Today

Despite substantial progress in understanding and treating HIV/AIDS, existing tools have not effectively controlled the epidemic, and the potential threat of resurgence looms as the largest cohort of young people in history enters early adulthood. Treatment alone will not end the epidemic. The International AIDS Society–Lancet Commission recommends that global treatment efforts should be complemented with stronger investments in primary prevention, including research to accelerate the development of a preventive vaccine.

December 2, 2019
Lancet
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