October 18, 2017
Although the current HIV/AIDS pandemic could theoretically be prevented through the appropriate use of pre-exposure prophylaxis and antiretroviral drugs, it is likely that a vaccine will be needed to eliminate the spread of the disease, according to an editorial published in JAMA.
“HIV is unique in that the body has a great deal of difficulty mounting an adequate response to the virus, which is unlike any other virus including measles, polio and smallpox,” Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Although these viruses cause disease and sometimes death, the body ultimately provides a very good immune response that clears the virus and protects you from reinfection with the same virus. If we can create a vaccine that mimics natural [HIV] infection — as we have done successfully with many vaccines — we can really make a major impact.”