Commentary & Opinion
Experimental HIV Vaccines Likely Will Offer Limited Immunity, Might Delay Onset of AIDS, Commentary Says
May 18, 2007
Many of the most promising experimental HIV vaccines in development will offer only limited immunity against the virus but might delay the onset of AIDS, Anthony Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Margaret Johnston of NIAID write in a New England Journal of Medicine commentary, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The commentary was published ahead of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, which is May 18.
According to Fauci and Johnston, some animal studies indicate peak viral loads were reduced by a factor of 10 in primates that were inoculated with these types of vaccines and then infected with the simian counterpart of HIV. The inoculations also "dramatically" slowed the progression of the disease in many animals, the authors write. They add that although it is not clear when the first vaccines will be available, Phase I and II clinical trials are "well into their execution" and large "numbers of people are being vaccinated." While these new vaccines likely will offer only limited immunity, there is "optimism that even a less-than-perfect vaccine could benefit both individual recipients and the at-risk community," Fauci and Johnston write AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/16).
The commentary is available online.
The San Francisco Chronicle on Friday also ran an opinion piece by Fauci and Johnston on experimental HIV vaccines. The opinion piece is available online.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.