Prospect of AIDS Vaccine within 10 Years ‘Looking Better’
A companion story to the Fortune magazine special on AIDS in Africa (see Global Challenges for coverage) reviews four hopeful trials for an AIDS vaccine and ponders the likelihood of developing an AIDS vaccine by President Clinton's 2007 goal. Fortune reports that it is unlikely that an AIDS vaccine will be ready for distribution by that deadline, noting that it takes five years for a candidate vaccine to undergo human trials, and very few vaccine candidates have even reached the human trials stage. Although "[n]ot one of more than 35 vaccines that have been tried in humans so far shows any great promise," Seth Berkley, CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, believes that vaccine research "is looking better than it has looked in probably a decade." Developing an AIDS vaccine has been tricky -- "great" vaccines in the past have worked because they "unleashed antibodies." HIV, however, has "repeatedly outfoxed" these types of vaccines. Scientists are instead now focusing on the immune system's "other arm -- white blood cells called killer T cells, which, instead of attacking a virus directly, target and destroy cells [the virusThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.