More fundamental and creative research is needed to to fill in the gaps in HIV vaccine research, said Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Institut Pasteur, France, at the 16th International AIDS Conference, Toronto, Canada.
According to Dr. Barré-Sinoussi there have been 85 HIV vaccine trials with over 30 different candidates. Yet we are no closer to finding out whether a protective HIV vaccine is feasible or not.
Barré-Sinoussi said that recent advances in fundamental immunology have provided the greatest hope towards progressing to a new and effective vaccine. These include new findings related to our body's innate immunity as well as the vital role played by it in the response to HIV exposure.
He said that recent advances in understanding the very early damage that HIV/SIV infection causes to the immune systems of humans and non-human primates will play an important part in helping us develop an effective vaccine.
Barré-Sinoussi also stressed the importance of future research into the therapeutic vaccination of HIV-infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).