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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

By altering the components of the one vaccine ever to show any efficacy against HIV, researchers have succeeded in prompting participants’ immune systems to develop promising antibody and immune-cell responses, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. These findings from an early-stage clinical trial suggest that more advanced research is warranted.

October 7, 2019

Findings in this study demonstrate that the immune responses associated with reduced risk of HIV-1 infection in the RV144 trial can be elicited, and often at greater frequency and magnitude, among HIV-1–seronegative South Africans. This was seen, irrespective of sex, age, and locale, in both Env-specific antibody and CD4+ T cell responses.

September 18, 2019
Science Translational Medicine

The only HIV vaccine regimen ever to demonstrate any efficacy has prompted strong antibody and cellular immune responses in a new trial that enrolled South African participants. This finding has led researchers to believe that it may not be necessary to tailor HIV vaccines to different regions of the world based on the different predominant circulating strains of the virus.

September 18, 2019
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