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Vaccine - how long?
Apr 9, 2007

Hi! I will try to be brief. A good friend of mine was diagnosed in 2002. He is on meds right now. This is my question - what is going on, if anything, with vaccines. I would like to know the status of research on vaccines for the negative as well as positive (we would be in a relationship if there was a vaccine). Thanks so much for your help. Lea

Response from Dr. Daar

There have been enormous strides made in understanding HIV-specific immune responses and how to measure potentially relevant immunologic markers. Unfortunately, most of what has been learned is how difficult it will be to develop a preventative vaccine. While much work is still ongoing I am not convinced there are any highly promising strategies on the horizon that might allow us to meet this goal.

For what it is worth I am somewhat more opptimistic that a vaccine could be developed in the next 5-10 years that might modify the immune response in infected people in such a way as to enhance virologic control and perhaps alter the natural history of disease.

It is ultimately up to you and your friend as to whether you pursue a relationship. However, it is worth noting that many HIV-infected people are able to have highly satisfying relationships with HIV-uninfected people while not allowing transmission to occur. I suggest you talk this over with your friend and consider seeking out expertise within your community that could provide additional information.

Best, Eric


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