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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Abstract

ESPARZA, José. An HIV vaccine: how and when?. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2001, vol.79, n.12, pp. 1133-1137. ISSN 0042-9686.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862001001200009.

The best long-term hope for controlling the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic is a safe, effective and affordable preventive vaccine, but its development has encountered unprecedented scientific challenges. The first phase I trial of an HIV vaccine was conducted in 1987. Subsequently, more than 30 candidate vaccines have been tested in over 60 phase I/II trials, involving approximately 10 000 healthy volunteers. Most of these trials have been conducted in the USA and Europe, but several have also been conducted in developing countries. The first phase III trials began in the USA in 1998 and in Thailand in 1999 to assess the efficacy of the first generation of HIV vaccines (based on the HIV envelope protein, gp120); the results will be available within the next 1-2 years. To accelerate the development of an HIV vaccine, additional candidate vaccines must be evaluated in parallel in both industrialized and developing countries. This will require international collaboration and coordination and critical ethical issues will need to be addressed. To ensure that future HIV vaccines contribute to the overall HIV/AIDS prevention effort, we should begin planning now on how best to use them.

Keywords : HIV infections [prevention and control]; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [prevention and control]; AIDS vaccines [immunology]; HIV [genetics]; Clinical trials; Models, Animal.

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