Why is There No Vaccine For HIV? Although it has long been a deadly and contagious disease, the HIV/AIDS vaccine has not been able to be developed and applied to the maximum.
HIV/AIDS is a deadly disease that until now has not been cured. The cause of AIDS is the human immunodeficiency virus that attacks human immune cells. As a result, the patient’s immune system deteriorates. When the body’s immune system is poor, the risk of developing complications of the disease will be very difficult to avoid.
HIV/AIDS, treatment and complications
AIDS treatment is now only done to slow the course of the disease, control symptoms, and minimize the risk of complications.
HIV Symptoms in Women That Cannot Be Ignored
Healing completely for the sufferer so that he can return to normal life, until now cannot be done. The current treatment is antiretroviral (ARVs) which can be obtained free of charge at HIV prevention centers.
ARV drugs should be taken for life to suppress the severity of complications of the disease. Some complications of the disease that often affect people with HIV / AIDS, including tuberculosis, MAC, CMV, pneumonia, cancer, opportunistic infections, and dementia.
Well, departing from the severity of HIV / AIDS disease, you may be wondering, until now Why is There No Vaccine For HIV? In fact, vaccination is one of the most effective efforts to prevent dangerous diseases.
Why is There No Vaccine For HIV?
HIV is different from common viruses
HIV vaccine research continues to fail, as the virus continues to carry out surface mutations very quickly from one generation to the next. In fact, to combat the virus, the immune system must be able to re-recognize the enemy.
But if the virus continues to mutate, the immune system no longer recognizes it. And look at it not as a pathogen, so it doesn’t attack the virus. HIV virus by mutation continuously, also continues to deceive the immune system. Scientists say the virus is always one step ahead of the research results.
How Does HIV Affect The Immune System?
The HIV virus belongs to a retrovirus group, capable of breeding its genetic code inside the host cell. Researchers have long sought to understand how this retrovirus breed, in order to develop strategies for the cure of the disease.
There are always recent research results, and back researchers should be disappointed. Because the virus remains uncontrollable. Like, if scientists move one step ahead, the virus has already sped up two steps.
Obstacles in developing HIV/AIDS vaccine
So far experts are not at all trying to develop an HIV vaccine. However, there has not been a successful vaccine development.
Infection and complications of HIV virus is quite difficult to make an antidote. When there is progress, it is usually accompanied by some setback in the effectiveness of the vaccine. Therefore, until now no vaccination has been considered feasible to prevent the spread of HIV virus.
Meanwhile, efforts to develop an HIV vaccine were hampered by the genetic diversity of the virus itself. The HIV replication cycle not only takes place quickly, but is also prone to mutate into a new type when transmitted to others.
As a result, the vaccine developed is only able to protect certain strains of the virus, while other types of HIV virus are developing into new types. The next obstacle is fighting the HIV virus demanding a very strong response from the immune system.
Limited vaccine efficacy
The only vaccine candidates that have been tested in humans are called RV 144 in Thailand from 2003 to 2006. Over 16,000 volunteers took part in this human trial. The results did not satisfy the researchers, as the effectiveness of vaccine protection only reached 31 percent of respondents. And the protective effect disappears after a few months.
Subsequent research conducted in South Africa began in 2016, with a vaccine candidate named HVTN 702. More than 5,000 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 took part in the trial. In 2020 trials of HIV vaccine candidates in South Africa were discontinued, as it showed no clear success.
The next trial was named MOSAICO, with candidates for a combination vaccine containing proteins that structure mimics the complicated surface of the HIV virus. Laboratory tests on monkeys showed promising results. Since the end of last year in the U.S. conducted clinical trials in humans with 3,800 volunteers.
Other clinical trials conducted in several African countries were named IMBOKODO. From 2017 to 2022, 2,600 volunteers participated in HIV vaccine trials in humans. So far its effectiveness is mentioned reaching 67%.
However, the researchers did not expect any major breakthroughs. They also agreed, there will be no HIV vaccine that has a 100% protective effect. If it can protect between 60 to 70% only, the vaccine is already considered a success. Until that effectiveness is achieved, so far there is only one possibility of AIDS therapy, namely with anti-retrovirus drugs.
Thank you very much for reading Why is There No Vaccine For HIV? Hopefully useful.