HIV Discoverers Envision Vaccines: Scientists Visit Conference in Hollywood
September 25, 2006
At the United States AIDS Conference in Hollywood, Fla., Dr. Robert Gallo, director of the Human Virology Institute at the University of Maryland, said his team is working on a vaccine that would prevent HIV from getting inside human cells. Since HIV invades immune cells, injects genetic material and causes cells to replicate the virus, such a vaccine would eliminate HIV's threat.
"We've got to block HIV at the doorway before it infects a single cell," Gallo said. But even if the vaccine continues to show good results in the lab, it would need years of clinical trials before widespread use.
Dr. Luc Montagnier, president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, said he envisions a vaccine for use on HIV patients whose virus has responded to drugs. Hidden reservoirs of HIV sometimes recur after drug therapy has worked. Montagnier said a vaccine at that point might wipe out HIV.
"The classical way of [using] vaccines doesn't work for HIV, so we should become more creative," Montagnier said.
The doctors -- credited with first identifying HIV as the cause of AIDS -- said because HIV mutates to defeat the actions of drugs, any vaccine might not be a one-time, lifetime protection.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
09.24.2006; Bob Lamendola
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.