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The quest for an effective HIV vaccine presents new possibilities, challenges

nt disease could not stand alone as a preventive measure; the public health community would need to include it as part of a broader HIV prevention program, so that recipients would minimize, or ideally, not engage in high-risk behaviors, according to the authors.

Currently, several vaccines that induce primarily T-cell responses are in or will soon enter expanded human clinical trials to determine if they impact HIV infection. Researchers also continue to give high priority to creating an HIV vaccine that induces broadly neutralizing antibodies, which might prevent the establishment of HIV infection. Although rare, such antibodies do exist, giving hope to scientists that a vaccine to induce such antibodies can be designed.

Drs. Johnston and Fauci conclude that a vaccine that prevents HIV infection by clearing the virus before cells become latently infected remains the goal. In addition, they believe that even a vaccine that does not prevent infection could prove beneficial if it prolongs the disease-free period and possibly even reduces virus transmission. If such a vaccine is shown to be successful and is eventually licensed, it would need to be delivered as part of a comprehensive, multifaceted HIV prevention program.
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Source:NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


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