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Health and medicine/Clinical medicine/Preventive medicine/Vaccination/HIV vaccines

Treatment is part of a total effort to contain the spread of most infectious diseases, from gonorrhea to tuberculosis. Most experts assumed that would apply to HIV as well—that treating people with antiretroviral therapy and lowering their HIV viral load would reduce the risk of transmission to others—but definitive evidence has been lacking.

Last year, a landmark National Institutes of Health clinical trial finally provided spectacular proof—a 96% reduction in new infections—of the preventive potential of treatment.

Chimpanzee adenoviruses could be used to make vaccines, two new studies in the 4 January issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine report. The results hint that vaccines developed with chimp vectors can trigger immune protection against hepatitis C, a virus that affects the liver and is estimated to infect 170 million people globally. There are no vaccines to protect against the infection.