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Where is the AIDS vaccine after forty years have passed?
Where is the AIDS vaccine after forty years have passed? Nearly 40 years have passed since the first case called AIDS was recorded. Researchers and scientists have made tremendous progress in HIV treatment, and today it is no longer a deadly disease, but a controllable disease.
Today’s AIDS vaccine research and development stage is more like a college entrance examination, rushing hard and looking forward to a good result, but also afraid of failure.
We still don’t have a vaccine that can train the human immune system to fight off infections before they take root.
The following is the current status of some of these efforts.
Why do we need vaccines?
More people now have access to drugs called antiretroviral therapy or ART, which, if taken as prescribed, can reduce the amount of virus in their bodies.
This keeps them healthy and unable to spread HIV to their partners.
In addition to antiretroviral therapy, high-risk groups can now get pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which is a daily pill that can reduce the risk of infection by 99%.
“Hanneck Schutmek, the global head of Johnson & Johnson Janssen Vaccines:” But treatment is not available everywhere in the world.
Even in rich countries, there are huge socio-economic and ethnic differences in access to these drugs, and vaccines have always been the most effective tool for eradicating infectious diseases.
Shutemek said that Janssen is currently conducting two human efficacy trials for its HIV vaccine candidate, and the preliminary results of one of the trials may be available as early as the end of this year.
Why is it so challenging?
The vaccine against COVID-19 was developed in a very short time and has shown remarkable safety and effectiveness, helping to reduce the number of cases.
Many of these vaccines have been developed using technologies previously tried on HIV, so why have we not made a breakthrough in HIV?
“Larry Corey, chief researcher of HVT, a global organization that funds HIV vaccine development: “The human immune system cannot cure HIV by itself, and it is very clear that the human immune system is capable of self-cure COVID-19.
The role of the COVID vaccine is to stimulate antibodies and bind to the spike protein of the virus to prevent it from infecting human cells.
AIDS virus also has a spike protein on its surface, which is the goal of AIDS vaccine development.
However, although there are some well-known variants of COVID circulating around the world, there are hundreds of variants of HIV in every infected person. The Scripps Institute is responsible for the immunology of mRNA-HIV vaccine development. William Schaff said.
Because it is a “retrovirus”, it can quickly integrate itself into the host’s DNA. An effective vaccine will need to stop the infection from happening, not just reduce the number of viruses, and let the remaining virus stay on the person forever.
What’s the situation now?
Efforts to develop a vaccine have been going on for decades, but so far have ended in failure.
Last year, a study called “Uhambo” was conducted in South Africa. The only vaccine candidate involved was shown to provide some protection against the virus, but it ended in frustrating failure.
Janssen’s vaccine candidate is currently being tested in the Imbokodo trial on 2,600 women in sub-Saharan Africa, and the results are expected to be reported in the coming months.
In the Mosaico trial, it was also tested in approximately 3,800 men who have sex with men and transgender people in the United States, South America, and Europe.
Janssen’s vaccine uses adenovirus technology similar to its COVID-19 vaccine. In other words, a genetically modified cold virus provides the host with instructions to carry genetic cargo to develop a “mosaic immunogen”, which is able to induce Molecules of the immune response of various HIV strains.
The dose of synthetic protein is then injected directly.
Another promising approach is to try to produce “broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies” (bnAbs) that bind to regions common in many variants of the HIV virus.
The International AIDS Vaccine Program and the Scripps Research Center recently announced the results of an early trial showing that their mRNA vaccine candidate developed in collaboration with Moderna stimulates the production of rare immune cells that produce bnAbs.
Schief explained that their strategy is to use a series of injections in an attempt to gradually educate the antibody-producing B cells. They also hope to train another type of white blood cell, the T cell, to kill those cells that are infected despite the antibodies.
Efficacy trials are still far away, but he hopes that mRNA technology will work, which turns the cells of the body into a vaccine factory and has proven its value against COVID-19.
(source:internet, reference only)