June 19, 2024

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Why is the development of HIV vaccine so difficult?

Why is the development of HIV vaccine so difficult?


Why is the development of HIV vaccine so difficult?

The development of COVID-19 vaccine is so fast, Why is the HIV vaccine so difficult?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, a variety of effective vaccines have been developed rapidly.

However, it has been more than 40 years since Michael Gottlieb , MD, who graduated from the University of Rochester, first named AIDS , and there is still no effective vaccine.


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However, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) specializing in HIV have been involved in the research of the COVID-19 vaccine during the epidemic, and now they have transferred the important data and knowledge gained in the past two years to the research of HIV virus.


So, why is the development of a COVID-19 vaccine so fast, while the HIV vaccine has taken scientists so many years? Dr Steve Dewhurst said the two viruses were completely different. “HIV is like a harder nut to crack. The biggest difference between it and the new coronavirus is the number of variants of a single HIV virus. For an untreated patient, HIV replication and mutation will continue for years. , which is not the case with Covid-19. The HIV virus produces new mutations surprisingly fast.”


Dr Michael Keefer added: “The HIV virus has thousands of variants and the Greek alphabet is simply not enough to name them.”


That said, two factors are critical to the rapid development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine. First, in terms of investment: basic investment in structure-based antigen design and RNA vaccine technology can be immediately used for COVID-19 vaccine research and development.

Barney Graham , MD, associate director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIAID) , developed structure-based vaccine designs in the search for an HIV vaccine, and his work on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has also contributed to RNA Vaccines paved the way.

The second factor is the massive global investment in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine, which allows researchers to evaluate a large number of vaccine options very quickly.

Both advances can now be applied to HIV research.


Dewhurst, professor of microbiology and immunology, and Keefer, professor of infectious disease medicine, have been studying AIDS for more than 30 years.

They point out that the Covid-19 vaccine is based on more than 20 years of vaccine research on HIV and other infectious diseases.

Now, they are turning the tide, using the knowledge gained from the development of a Covid-19 vaccine for the HIV fight.


“It’s kind of like a renaissance, we’re starting from scratch, and the blueprint we’re going to draw is an mRNA vaccine,” Keefer said. “The Covid-19 vaccine has given us a lot of safety data to draw on, and our understanding of vaccine development has increased.”


The AIDS crisis has claimed millions of lives since it became popular in the 1980s, and an estimated 38 million people are now living with HIV in the world .

There is currently no cure for AIDS, but it can be controlled through prevention and treatment. Unfortunately, not everyone can use these drugs, and not everyone tolerates them.

Our ultimate goal remains the first to develop a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.






Why is the development of HIV vaccine so difficult?

(source:internet, reference only)

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