Monday, 7 July 2008

AIDS vaccines...

There's a nice article from Scientific American on the progress (or lack thereof) towards an AIDS vaccine.

The next two years will reveal whether researchers are on the right track for at least a partially effective vaccine. Three clinical trials are underway to test the effectiveness of coaxing the immune system's disease-killing T cells into attacking the virus more aggressively. Experts say that such a vaccine is unlikely to prevent the HIV infection. But they hope it will weaken the virus enough to delay the complications of AIDS and reduce the need for expensive antiretroviral drugs.

Increased funding and more sophisticated organization have played a key role in getting this far. "By the early to mid- 1990s, the AIDS vaccine effort was relatively moribund," says IAVI president Seth Berkley, who founded the group in 1996. "It's 100 percent a scientific problem. However, without an enabling environment, you can't solve the science."

It's a nice summary, should you be interested.

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