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HIV Vaccine Primer: Basic Science and Concepts

May 13, 2013

Getting to zero new HIV infections is already possible with our current HIV prevention methods -- condom use, pre-exposure prophylaxis, education, testing and so forth. But the holy grail of getting to zero remains an HIV vaccine. With an effective vaccine, HIV could eventually be eradicated, as with smallpox.

Just to be clear: No HIV vaccine currently exists. But there are many ongoing efforts to develop one, and those efforts have been revived in recent years. Some experts say we are at least 10 years away from an HIV vaccine, while others say it may be much longer than that.

So why is it taking so long? What makes developing a vaccine for HIV so difficult? Some of the science behind HIV vaccines can be tricky, but here are the basics to help you better understand what goes on in the human body and how a successful vaccine may be developed.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Anonymous (Alabama ) Tue., Dec. 17, 2013 at 5:03 am EST
I lost my uncle to a heart attack but he had found out in 1989 he was HIV positive. He did every trial they would let him do and did everything his doctors told him. He was undetectable for the last few years of his life. I have all the papers from his doctors and they called him a miracle. He was on vacation and got jumped in a ally and woke up in a pool of blood. That's how he contracted HIV. The doctors and staff at UAB and the clinic he went to are amazing. He smoked and that's probably what contributed to his death of a heart attack. I'm just glad that whatever those doctors did he lived HIV free the last few years of his life and that's not what got him. If anyone reads this that has HIV/AIDS don't give up fight hard and do all the things he did to get better! He didn't do anything wrong to get it. It was others that just couldn't deal with there self and that's wrong. He was a fighter when it came to conquering HIV and he did it. You can to. Keep God close to you at all times and he will never leave you. My love and Prayers goes out to each and everyone of you that is going this bump in the road. Hold your head high be strong and carry on! "Just Believe "
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Comment by: subash (hyd,India) Sun., Jun. 30, 2013 at 2:58 am EDT
I HOPE THAT THE VACCINE SHOULD BE FOUND WITHIN COUPLE OF WEEKS,CONGRATS TO THE CREW.
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Comment by: Jerry Robbins (Florida) Fri., May. 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm EDT
Why don't they develop a virus to kill the HIV virus...
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