HIV Vaccines

An AIDS vaccine does not yet exist, but efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have been underway for many years. An HIV vaccine could be effective in either of two ways. A “preventive” vaccine would stop HIV infection occurring altogether, whereas a “therapeutic” vaccine would not stop infection, but would prevent or delay illness in people who do become infected, and might also reduce the risk of them transmitting the virus to other people. Although a preventive vaccine would be ideal, a therapeutic vaccine would also be highly beneficial. The basic idea behind all HIV vaccines is to encourage the human immune system to fight HIV.

Historically, vaccines have been our best weapon against the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, including smallpox, polio, measles, and yellow fever. Unfortunately, we currently do not have a vaccine for HIV. The virus has unique ways of evading the immune system, and the human body seems incapable of mounting an effective immune response against it. As a result, scientists do not have a clear picture of what is needed to provide protection against HIV.

Alternative medical treatments to a vaccine do exist. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been highly beneficial to many HIV-infected individuals since its introduction in 1996 when the protease inhibitor-based HAART initially became available. HAART allows the stabilization of the patient’s symptoms and viremia, but they do not cure the patient of HIV, nor of the symptoms of AIDS. And, importantly, HAART does nothing to prevent the spread of HIV by people with undiagnosed infections. Introduction of safer sex measures to halt the spread of AIDS has proven difficult in the worst affected countries.

  • HIV Vaccine Strategies
  • T cell-based vaccines
  • B cell-based vaccines
  • Innate & Mucosal Immunity
  • Viral Vaccine Vectors
  • Preventive HIV Vaccines
  • Innovations in HIV Vaccine Discovery
  • Emerging Clinical Trials
  • Challenges Facing AIDS Vaccine Development

HIV Vaccines Conference Speakers