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Interesting Read for everone
Apr 25, 2004

Hi Bob, I thought this would be useful and interesting info to all users.

There are many reasons to be optimistic that a useful HIV vaccine can be developed. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that the human immune system can control HIV under certain circumstances. For example, in most individuals with acute HIV infection, the immune system is successful in dramatically down-modulating the burst of viremia seen in the weeks following infection. In addition, a small subset of HIV-infected individuals show little or no immune system deterioration and low levels of viral replication even after 15 or more years of infection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Other individuals, including sex workers, have multiple exposures to HIV but remain uninfected. Studies of acute infection, "long-term nonprogressors," and multiply exposed/uninfected people continue to provide clues regarding the immune responses one would want to elicit with a vaccine.

Experimental vaccines have proven protective in animal models of AIDS and, in Phase I and Phase II humans trials, candidate HIV vaccines have been well tolerated and immunogenic. In human studies, cross-clade CD8+ CTL responses to candidate HIV vaccines have been observed, as have antibodies that can neutralize a broad spectrum of HIV subtypes. These findings indicate that the problem of viral diversity and multiple clades may not be insurmountable.

In addition, epidemiological studies indicate that mucosal transmission is relatively inefficient in the absence of other sexually transmitted diseases. This suggests that moderate immune responses at the mucosa may be protective. Finally, recent studies indicate that HIV vaccine efficacy trials among high-risk volunteers are feasible. In this regard, considerable progress has been made in establishing the domestic and international infrastructure for the assessment of HIV vaccines and other prevention efforts.

Provided by National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Thanks. Yes, we must all remain optimistic. However, I must tell you that reports from recent HIV vaccine trials have been anything but encouraging. That doesn't mean we should give up, but rather that an effective vaccine is still not visible, even on the distant horizon. Stay tuned to The Body. We'll keep you posted on important developments as they evolve.

Dr. Bob



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