Jul 23, 2001
PLease AnSWER... how long are we from developing a HIV vaccine, is it true that it is more likely to find a vaccine than a cure? And are we 20, 40, or 60 percent to finding the cure?
thank you for your time...
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your question.
There has been considerable advance in our knowledge about HIV vaccines in the past several years. Unfortunately, this does not mean that a vaccine cure for HIV is any where in the near future.
It is importantn to distinguish between protective vaccines and therapeutic immune-based therapies. The former is like the tetanus vaccinations that we all get- here, there is some evidence that vaccination strategies may work in monkey models of HIV. Way too soon yet to know if this strategy will work for humans, though the initial safety clinical trials will be launched soon.
The second question is whether immune-based vaccinations can boost the immunity of those with established HIV infection. We have less information here, though the minimal hope is that a "vaccine" can lower the viral load for those with chronic infection.
Either way, we are at least 3-5 years away from the data that will show the degree of efficacy of vaccines. This is exciting, fast moving science. Stay tuned. BY
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