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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 pursuing groundbreaking research with number of 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

The way in which the world has responded to COVID, has fundamentally changed ideas of what’s possible in vaccine development—but, regrettably, access to that scientific knowledge remains the property of a few drug companies and research institutions in wealthy countries.

May 18, 2021
Bhekisisa

HIV vaccine development has become a process of stepwise learning of how to make a vaccine that induces an immune response that is markedly better than the human immune response to HIV. Insights into these processes have occurred when efficacy trials of candidate vaccines have taken place. Scientific advancements, innovation, political will, coupled with the substantial financial investment will continue to be critical in our path to find a vaccine against this virus that is among the biggest killers in history.

May 18, 2021
JIAS

In a little under a year, scientists developed several vaccines against COVID-19. But as we line up for our shots, we are still living in the shadow of another pandemic. The search for a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has been ongoing for nearly four decades. To this day, only one large-scale trial has demonstrated even marginal efficacy at preventing infection from the virus: the RV144 trial in Thailand—the largest HIV vaccine trial in history.

May 8, 2021
JSTOR Daily

In February 2020, just as the COVID pandemic began its rapid global spread, a major HIV vaccine trial called HVTN 702, or Uhambo, was halted for lack of efficacy. Researchers and advocates had high hopes for Uhambo, building as it did on the RV144 trial, which provided the first evidence that an HIV vaccine could create a partially protective immune response. But Uhambo, like several studies before it, ended in disappointment.

April 7, 2021
Science Speaks
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