May 29, 2003
I understand the difference (I think) between a theraputic and preventative vaccine, but is there a difference between a thereputic vaccine and a cure? At the risk of being annoying, is there anything you can add about vaccines/ cures that hasn't shown up on the other 15 'vaccine/cure questions'? Thank you for your patience.
Response from Dr. Wohl
A therapeutic vaccine is one that is given to someone who already has the infection in an attempt to stimulate the immune system to fight the infection.
Preventative vaccination is the familiar administration of a part of the germ to elicit an immune response that protects against infection.
Both types of vaccines are being studied in HIV. We are at a very early stage of development of each type.
Along with efforts to create better antiretrovirals, other immune modulators, reducing HIV transmission via behavioral and biological interventions (treatment of STDs, using HIV therapy to reduce viral load in genital secretions, etc) we may be able to turn the tide against this epidemic. DW
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