AIDS: Years Of Research But Still No Vaccine
Umer Jamshaid Published November 30, 2021 | 03:53 PM
Covid vaccines began to show promise just months after the novel coronavirus started spreading across the globe
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Nov, 2021 ) :Covid vaccines began to show promise just months after the novel coronavirus started spreading across the globe.
So why have decades of HIV/AIDS research yielded so little progress on a jab to prevent a disease that claimed some 680,000 lives in 2020? As the globe marks World AIDS Day on Wednesday, why is there still no vaccine to protect people from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)? One answer is that the political will and colossal investment that have spurred on Covid vaccine development have largely been missing from AIDS vaccine research since HIV was discovered in 1983.
But another lies in the complexity of the science behind HIV.
"With COVID vaccines, researchers worry about the vaccine being able to fend off a handful of variants that have become particularly worrisome," reads a June report by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
"But for HIV, there are millions and millions of different viruses that have resulted from the virus's stealth ability to rapidly mutate... It is this astonishing level of diversity that any HIV vaccine must contend with."Olivier Schwartz, head of the viruses and immunity unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, says that while most people can recover naturally from an initial coronavirus infection and thus acquire immunity, this is not the case for HIV.
"HIV mutates much more easily than Covid and so it is more difficult to generate so-called broadly neutralising antibodies that could prevent infection," he said.