HIV-infected individuals and researchers have trekked the long and arduous road in their never-ending search for an HIV vaccine. As of today, no vaccine has been developed which could stop a person to get infected with HIV, the deadly virus that eventually progresses to AIDS. There have been varying levels of success that has been gained from the different methods used by researchers to develop an HIV vaccine that will successfully work. Developing an effective vaccine against the HIV virus has proven to be hard as its characteristic is very different from that of other viruses. The HIV virus’ capability to quickly adjust to medications is the reason why four kinds of drugs are given to patients to fight the virus.
The vaccines that have been successfully developed and used today to fight other viruses were patented after the gained natural immunity from an infection. A virus, like the flu virus, cannot re-infect an individual that has been infected and cured of it. In the case of AIDS, developing a vaccine from immunity is not possible since no infected individual has been cured of the infection. A large number of available vaccines sold in the market usually consist of either dead or live attenuated organisms. These vaccines have no effect with HIV as using a retrovirus that is alive or dead has no antigens to combat it, notwithstanding the fact that it could even lead to serious health complications as well.
On the upside, great progress has been made in the last couple of years’ search for an HIV vaccine. A mosaic vaccine developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory by their researchers believe that the vaccine can help the immune system of a human body respond to HIV despite its capability to replicate. Tests done to lab animals such as mice and monkeys show the vaccine to highly increase the responses of their immune system. Human trials using this vaccine are next planned by the researchers which gained inspiration from the donations coming in from various foundations.
Another vaccine has been developed by the Maryland School of Medicine. The developed vaccine shows an increased production of powerful antibodies to combat the different species of HIV. The safe use of the vaccine for human consumption and its capability to get a response from an individual’s immune system are the focus of the researchers in their evaluation for this newly developed vaccine. If the study is funded properly, the search for an HIV vaccine may finally become successful in the forthcoming years. For the last 20 years, scientists and researchers have done all they could to understand and fight the virus which conveys a message of hope coming in from top experts of this particular field which could bring about the eradication of this traitorous and deadly disease.
In the meantime, vigilance from each and everyone could help contain the infection from spreading further. Safe sex practices have to be followed and made a part of every sexual activity in order for the HIV infection to be stopped.