HIV vaccine – are we there yet?

Following the
last month of the success of the HIV-1 vaccine clinical trial,
RV144, Ben Berkhout and William Paxton discuss the implications of this
positive vaccine efficacy in their Editorial,
published today in Retrovirology.

The RV144
Clinical trial began in 2003 and was seen by many as being a non-starter due to
each of the vaccine’s two components having been previously shown to provide no
protection as individual vaccines. Researchers hoped that in combination, the
components would be more effective, and they were right. However, in spite of
success of the trial showing this vaccine provides mild protection against
HIV-1 infection, many issues remain unresolved.

“The trial has
certainly posed more new questions than it has so far answered”, Dr Berkhout
says, adding “The results of the RV144 trial may indicate that we should not
put all our money on basic science and ignore clinical science, as human
experimentation has added value over what we can test in tubes and animal

Editorial, HIV vaccine:
it may take two to tango, but no party time yet
, is available online.

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