HIV Vaccine Efforts Should Focus on Controlling Viral Replication, Researcher Says
The need for a preventive HIV vaccine is "more urgent than ever before," but efforts to develop the medicine should focus on controlling HIV replication rather than trying to keep the virus from infecting a human host, University of California-San Francisco HIV/AIDS researcher Jay Levy writes in a Lancet opinion piece. Levy, director of the Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research at UCSF, writes that "sterilizing immunity" -- keeping a virus from infecting a host cell -- "seems unattainable" with HIV, since one replicative cycle of the virus is "highly likely" to have taken place before "an appropriate immune response is initiated." Whereas other viruses kill the cells they infect, HIV "does not necessarily" do this, and HIV-infected cells "will continue seeding HIV particles that can be spread to various tissues in the host" unless that host issues a "strong immunological response," Levy states. He adds that if the immune system could "recognize" HIV-infected cells and be "stimulate[d]" enough to control the virus, then infection could be stThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.