HIV Presents Specific Challenges In Vaccine Development

Huffington Post: HIV/AIDS Presents an Unprecedented Challenge to Developing a Vaccine
Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology

“As the world focuses on Ebola, we must not forget that HIV/AIDS presents a far greater challenge in the world of vaccines. … Unlike Ebola, at the heart of the challenge is that HIV is a human retrovirus, and by nature irreversibly infects an individual permanently in a few days. Thus, unlike viruses for which we have successfully developed vaccines, such as polio, the immune system has no time to recognize HIV and produce antibodies to fight it. HIV has already begun inserting its genes into its human host’s genome. We believe an effective vaccine must achieve ‘sterilizing immunity,’ or the ability to completely block infection at the entry point…” (10/29).