Are we close to finding a vaccine against HIV?

A vaccine is being developed that makes animals to produce antibodies against HIV molecules

Leer en Español: ¿Estamos cerca de una vacuna para el VIH?

Since 1996, more than 5 different vaccines have sworn to cure, or help manage, HIV. However, none have successfully developed a realistic cure for the virus.

Now days there are 5 vaccine candidates that attack the Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Last July in Paris, France, during the IX IHV Conference of the International Aids Society (IAS), experts warned about a new adversity in the war against HIV. Over the last couple of years, the virus has been developing resistance against antiretroviral drugs, which are the main treatment for patients. Thanks to the existence of this medicine, AIDS is no longer treated as a deadly illness but rather as a chronic disease.

WHO: In 6 countries, more than 10% of the patient developed a subtype of virus that is resistant against the most common antiretroviral drugs

According to the scientific proof revealed by the World Health Organization, some patients are developing antiretroviral resistance. In 6 of the 11 countries that were studied in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, more than 10% of the patients have a subtype of virus that is resistant against the most common antiretroviral drugs.

This phenomena worries the international organization due to the fact that if the new strand of virus infects others, the resistance molecules will spread among the population.

New research

Over the last few days, a research group from the University of Maryland and Duke University in the United States has designed a vaccine prototype. The new vaccine makes animals produce an immune response against the protective shield of the HIV, which had been a problem in the past. The authors of said research assured that their method "addresses this problem by designing a vaccine component that mimics a protein-sugar part of the shield".

The research, published in the Cell Chemical Biology journal, was successful in rabbits, where the vaccine stimulated antibody responses against the sugar shield in 4 different HIV strains. The results were seen only two months after the medicine was injected.  

The researchers insist that they must conduct more experiments and explained that the vaccine just attacks the shield of 4 HIV strains, but there are more than 60 different types.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto