Hiv: The Search For A Vaccine Essay

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In 1985, over 10,000 cases of AIDS were reported worldwide (White and Fenner 1986). Just over a decade later, in 1998, the Global AIDS Policy Coalition estimated that 30.6 million people were infected with HIV worldwide. It has also been projected that by the year 2000, between 40 and 70 million adults will be infected with HIV (New Generation Vaccines 1997). Over 90% of all HIV-1 infected individuals live in developing nations: 50% in Southeast Asia and 40% in sub-Saharan Africa. However, even with all of these alarming statistics and projections, there is hope for the future of humanity. This hope is a potential anti-AIDS vaccine. An anti-AIDS vaccine is the best bet. Among other factors, the large costs associated with therapeutic …show more content…
The second obstacle is the lack of an inexpensive, suitable animal for testing the efficiency of an HIV-1 vaccine. Chimps, baboons, and gibbons can be infected with HIV, however they are endangered and cost between $60,000 and $100,000 each. These animals are also unable of assessing a vaccine's ability to prevent disease, since infected chimps do not develop AIDS (New Generation Vaccines 1997).

SCID mice have given optimism to the search for a practical animal model. SCID mice are mice that have been populated with human T cells. When these mice are presented with HIV, the human T cells in the mice become infected. These mice have already helped researchers find therapeutic levels of AZT and ddI for humans (Kuby 1997).

There are several characteristics for an ideal HIV vaccine. First, the vaccine should be inexpensive. This would enable developing nations to have access to it. Secondly, the vaccine should be able to evoke a strong response from both the humoral and the cell-mediated immune branches. Finally, the vaccine should be effective against multiple strains of HIV (Vaccine Strategies 1997).

There are five potential vaccine candidates that will be discussed: whole inactivated vaccines, live attenuated vaccines, live recombinant vector vaccines, subunit vaccines, and naked DNA vaccines.

Initially, whole inactivated vaccines looked as if they protected macaques from SIV infection. However, it was later discovered that the
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