Why The AIDS Vaccine Remains Elusive

Virus’ variability and ability to integrate with host DNA are two major hurdles.

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The Cold War arms race is a great metaphor for how the AIDS virus infects people, says Barton Haynes, M.D., director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University School of Medicine. While the Cold War is history, the quest for a vaccine against HIV continues—an often-elusive goal that now offers some glimmers of hope.

Just as the U.S. and USSR built bigger and bigger bombs against each other a generation ago, so HIV touches off antibodies that kill most of their target virus, then induce an escape virus that infects the patient. That in turn touches off another round of antibody deployment followed by escape virus. After two to three years, 85% of patients with chronic AIDS experience poor or non-neutralizing antibody response.

The other 15% develop broadly neutralizing antibodies—which researchers hope can someday be induced in others with HIV through a vaccine.

Discovering how that happens will be the goal of two new Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID), one of which will be led by Dr. Haynes at Duke. Last month, NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded $31 million in first-year funding, and possibly $186 million or more over seven years for CHAVI-ID.

“The new grant is to now define virus evolution and antibody evolution in a whole series of patients, to understand what happens on the virus side when broadly neutralizing antibodies develop on the antibody side—when the arms race goes in the right direction, if you will,” Dr. Haynes told GEN. “Embedded in those virus sequences and structures are, essentially, a prototype vaccine at least in that person that induced the right kind of antibodies.”

By pulling out those virus sequences and envelopes and structures, he said, “We’ll be, number-one, looking to see how common the patterns are for what induces the right kinds of broadly neutralizing antibodies from patient to patient.

“Secondly, we’ll be actually making those envelopes and testing them in nonhuman primates, and hopefully eventually soon in Phase I trials, to see if we can recreate that induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies in the context of a vaccine and its adjuvant,” Dr. Haynes added.

Dr. Haynes was among speakers assessing progress, and challenges toward an HIV vaccine at the recent XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), where several conference speakers delivered surprisingly upbeat assessments of the state of AIDS research: “We are on scientifically solid ground when we say we can end the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., declared at a plenary session.

Since the first AIDS cases emerged in 1981, only three major HIV vaccine candidates have completed efficacy clinical trials. Robert Gallo, M.D., a co-discoverer of HIV and director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told GEN. VaxGen’s AIDSVAX likely failed due to type-specific antibodies and perhaps inadequate antibody titans, while V520, a candidate of NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center and Merck, failed and even increased the number of infected patients—likely due to use as a vector of an adenovirus strain already exposed to a sizeable percentage of people from earlier infections.

Most successful was the RV144 Thai vaccine trial of 2009, which saw just 31.2% of patients protected through the combination of Sanofi’s ALVAC-HIV and AIDSVAX. Dr. Haynes led a consortium that in April published in The New England Journal of Medicine a follow-up study to RV144. Binding of IgG antibodies to variable regions 1 and 2 (V1V2) of HIV-1 envelope proteins may have contributed to protection against infection, while high levels of Env-specific IgA antibodies may have mitigated the effects of protective antibodies, the group found.

One hurdle to developing an AIDS vaccine is the virus’ variability.

“We really need immune responses, which don’t block just one virus or one small family of viruses, but are reactive against the epidemic. And we now have quite a number of them. And more are being discovered all the time.” C. Richter (Rick) King, Ph.D., vp of vaccine design for the AIDS Vaccine Design & Development Laboratory of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, told GEN.

“All of us are pretty excited about the fact that there’s a new day here in this area, which just wasn’t the case five years ago,” Dr. King said. “The field of broadly neutralizing antibodies has really picked up and invigorated the vaccine design area.”

Dr. Gallo told GEN that while broadly neutralizing antibodies have shown promise in some people with HIV, researchers don’t yet know what antigen can induce them, or how to make them last long enough to be truly effective against the virus.

“I believe if you have perfect neutralizing antibodies, and they’re high-titer and they last, that’s one way that we should have a successful vaccine. But let’s keep our minds open. There may be more than one way to get a home run,” Dr. Gallo said. “There are antibodies with other biologic activity, like antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or ADCC. There are antibodies with other biologic activity.

Dr. Gallo’s IHV and a spinout company, Profectus Biosciences, are collaborating with Sanofi and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) in developing a DNA-based vaccine candidate that encodes a full-length, single-chain fusion protein targeting co-receptor CCR5. The vaccine candidate is designed to induce antibodies to CD4-induced (CD4i) epitopes on the protein gp120. The collaboration last year won $23.4 million toward preclinical and Phase I/II trials from sources including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MHRP, and NIH.

Another hurdle to an HIV vaccine is the retrovirus’ ability to integrate with host DNA.

“That means you need something with long-lasting antibodies or boosts that will keep those antibodies at reasonably high levels, because you can’t afford a situation like polio, which is in your gut till it reaches your brain, giving you time to clear it out. You can’t wait those two weeks or three weeks,” Dr. Gallo said.

How long until an AIDS vaccine finally emerges?

“Anybody who gives you an answer to that is telling you fantasies, deliberately or unconsciously,” Dr. Gallo said.

Added Dr. Haynes: “We have directions to move now, and we have hypotheses to test, and we understand what the problem is. The field is going to be working as hard as possible to translate it to vaccine candidates as quickly as possible. That’s about all I can say.”

Dr. King told GEN that researchers are “probably somewhere in the range of 10 years away from a deployed vaccine, and it could be longer.”

“The detection of broadly neutralizing antibodies or another effective immune response can come in relatively early clinical trials, sometimes even in the safety trial. We might expect to begin to see those kinds of results in much less time, maybe four to five years,” he added. “I’m fairly optimistic that we’ll know we’re on a good path by about that point.”

Until then, investigators and officials must master a difficult balancing act: They must temper hopes raised among people with HIV by scientific progress, often amplified by giddy researchers, ambitious activists or simplistic news reports, with caution about how far off a safe and effective AIDS vaccine remains.

Comments

Sigh...
One of the primary reasons the 'AIDS vaccine' is so 'elusive' is because there is no real interest in finding one (same goes for the 'cure').

Conspiracy theory aside, you don't need a formal conspiracy theory in a system where common interests converge... and in capitalism, they do so daily.

As for the 'AIDS virus'... to my recollection, and per scientific data, the HIV being causal factor of AIDS is still a theory.
'Mountain of evidence' aside, evidence is not proof and correlation is not proof of causation.
The HIV antibody test tests only for the antibody, not the actual virus, and in immunology, we know that if a body produces antibodies, it developed immunity.
For that matter, those antibody tests are extremely cross reactive and can easily react + if a person was recently ill.
Pregnant women often light up that antibody test for no other reason but being pregnant.
People who had Malaria tested + on a regular basis.

I'm not saying AIDS doesn't exist... I'm merely questioning whether the causal factor is in fact HIV or not, and there is not enough scientifically relevant data to support that premise.
They cannot even explain just HOW the said retrovirus destroys the immune cells in the first place.

There are lots of reasons a persons immune system can experience a problem.
Living in a world we do today, that's hardly surprising what with all the pollution, prescription drugs being popped like candy, and a ton of other factors I don't even have to go into.

If a cure was found for AIDS tomorrow, do you have any idea how many people would loose their jobs?
Or, they will let the whole thing subside into something that is 'not so important' and probably come up with 'the next big epidemic'.

Their numbers even don't correlate with the mortality rates, and the 'new' ARV coctails are just the old drugs in different dosages.
They are still inherently toxic and cause internal organ damage.

There are indeed some classical 'textbook' cases that correlate with what the industry says about the disease, however, we don't know these people's medical history... whether or not they are lying, how they actually lead their lives, etc.
In a world where so many people are easily stigmatized for minor things, its not surprising that many would lie in order to avoid being judged or worse so, not treated by their doctors (because there have been such cases).

to get rid of aids/HiV, cancers, illness and sickness just raise and sustain your body -pH level above/between 7,1-pH -> 9-pH.

development of sickness can happen in an environment where that is possible, possible it is in an acidic environment, pH level 6,9-pH -> 2-pH.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skjFFV1caHE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgWIKLLr0aY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTJK6hIAOI&feature=relmfu

Dr. Sebi

The reason why the AIDS vaccine eludes us is because HIV virus does not cause AIDS.

1. HIV is neutralized by antibody immunity.

When a person tests "positive" to HIV, it means they carry antibodies to the virus. Which means that they have immunity. This is clear from the fact that there is so little virus to be found in HIV antibody positive people.* The antibodies have done their job and the virus is well under control. There are no known viruses that cause illness in every case only long after antibodies appear, which is how AIDS is defined.

One has to question why 12 years and billions of dollars have been spent developing a vaccine against HIV when the best vaccine possible already exists when a person tests positive.

2. HIV does not kill the T cells it infects.

HIV can only kill T cells under rare laboratory conditions. In fact, HIV researchers use T cells to grow the virus because T cells live quite compatibly with HIV.

3. HIV does not infect enough T cells to cause AIDS.

HIV never infects more than 1 out of 1000 T cells; commonly just 1 out of 10,000 T cells.* People replace 5% of their T cells per day. Simple math shows that HIV cannot infect enough T cells to cause them to die off and bring down the whole immune system. Even supporters of the HIV/AIDS theory admit that this low level of T cell infection is a challenge to explain.

* The recent invention of "viral load" testing is an attempt to explain away the fact that almost no sign of HIV can be found by standard measurements. Viral load tests do not measure viable virus and have not been approved by the FDA to diagnose HIV infection.

4. HIV has no AIDS causing gene.

HIV has no specific gene or unique reason to cause AIDS. All retroviruses have only 3 major genes, GAG, ENV and POL and only 6 minor genes. Because the genes and genetic sequences are so limited in these simple organisms, they need all their genes to replicate. HIV is almost identical to all other retroviruses genetically. There are 50 to 100 different retroviruses that can be found in every healthy human body. All have been brought under control by antibody response. HIV behaves no differently than any of these others. If none of these other retroviruses cause AIDS, why should HIV? And vice versa, if HIV causes AIDS, why don't all the rest? So there is no genetic reason why HIV would cause AIDS.

5. There is no such thing as a "slow virus".

HIV is claimed to take 10 to 20 years (the "latency period") after infection to cause AIDS. The only way to explain this is to give HIV magical abilities to reactivate, mutate, migrate and hibernate. These slow virus hypotheses were devised by scientists who used them to buy time when their viruses failed to perform. The slow virus proponents point to examples like the herpes viruses that smolder and hide and then reemerge in persons when they have suppressed immunity and cannot generate a sufficient defense. These differ greatly from HIV because large amounts of active virus can be found causing specific symptoms. By contrast, a slow virus is an invention credited with the ability to cause disease only years after infection - termed the latency period - in previously healthy persons, regardless of their state of immunity. Such a concept allows scientists to blame a long-neutralized virus for any disease that appears decades after infection. HIV is inactive, then is said to cause 30 different diseases 10 years later. None of which are specific to HIV itself.

6. HIV is not a new virus, so it could not cause a new epidemic.

AIDS cases went from almost none in 1980 to a reported half a million in North America alone by 1995. Therefore, scientists claim HIV must be a new virus or we would have had an epidemic years or centuries ago. However, this claim does not stand up to the principals of Farr's Law. Farr's Law asserts that new infections spread exponentially through the population. HIV has been reported at more or less 1 million infected in the USA each year since they had a test for it in 1984. So it cannot be a new virus.

7. HIV fails Koch's postulates.

The universal test used by scientists to determine if a disease is truly being caused by an infection was designed over one hundred years ago by Robert Koch.

Koch's postulates state:

The organism:

must be found in all cases of the disease.
must be isolated from the host and grown in pure culture.
must cause the same disease when injected into a new, healthy host.
must be found growing again in the newly diseased host.

Here is how HIV does on this test:

The germ must be found in all cases of the diseases. FAILS.
10 to 20% of AIDS patients have no HIV at all.
Only tiny amounts of HIV, usually dormant, can be found in any AIDS patient.

The germ must be isolated from the host and grown in pure culture. PASSES - but only on a technicality.
Huge amounts of cell tissue are needed to find HIV.
HIV needs a chemically induced process to reactivate.
By contrast, large amounts of active virus can be found with other viruses.

The germ must cause the same disease when injected into a new, healthy host. FAILS - hands down.
HIV does not cause AIDS in test animals like chimpanzees.
human health care workers accidentally infected with HIV rarely get AIDS unless they use recreational drugs ... or AZT.

The germ must be found growing again in the newly diseased host. FAILS - for not passing postulate 3.

HIV fails this test.

HIV scientists claim that Koch's postulates are old and out of date with modern science. But they have stood the test of time. Disease hypotheses that ignored Koch's postulates have been a failure. The infectious theories of scurvy, pellagra, beriberi, SMON and virus/cancer research have all ignored Koch's postulates and all have been a dismal failure. And now HIV/AIDS?

8. AIDS has remained in the original risk groups for over 15 years.

If a disease does not spread it must be caused by something non-infectious. The US CDC reports (1997) confirm that AIDS is not spreading into the general population.

AIDS cases by risk group (US):
Admitted gay males 54%
Admitted IV drug users 32%
Hemophiliacs 1%
Transfusion recipients 1%
Claimed heterosexual contact 9%
Pediatric 1%
Total: 97%

If AIDS is truly caused by a virus AIDS patients not in a risk group should be growing above an estimated 10% as the disease spreads.

Note that the US army has found that when testing recruits HIV positive results were divided equally between men (50%) and women (50%). Yet 85% of AIDS cases in the US are male.

Note too that in the US men use over 80% of all hard drugs. Among women with AIDS 60% (admit they) use hard drugs.

9. International comparisons of AIDS differ greatly.

A germ related disease would effect the population in the same way around the world. An outbreak of cholera in India and Honduras would be much the same. But AIDS is totally different in the USA or western industrialized countries and Africa.

USA AFRICA
Aids by sexual percentage
85% male 50% male
15% female 50% female
AIDS among risk groups
At least 90% No risk group
risk groups (at random)
AIDS diseases caused by microbes
62% 90%
Estimated HIV Infections
1 million 14 million
Official documented cases of AIDS (1995/96)
513,486 442,735

AIDS in Africa should be 14 times higher than in the US. Instead, people with HIV in the US develop AIDS 10 to 20 times faster than in Africa. This means that whereas the latency period in the US is predicted at 10 -15 years, in Africa it is at least 100 to 150 years!

10 .AIDS occurs without HIV Infection and most people with HIV never develop AIDS.

The evidence for the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is based solely on correlation. Because the virus is found in most AIDS patients, it is thought to cause AIDS. But the logic of that assumption is flawed because CORRELATION DOES NOT PROVE CAUSATION.

The common presence of HIV in AIDS patients is no more proof that HIV causes AIDS than the presence of birds on power lines is proof that birds cause power failures.

So, if HIV and AIDS are only correlated, we should find AIDS without HIV and healthy people who have HIV and never get AIDS. That is exactly what is happening.

In Africa studies have shown over 65% of AIDS patients are not HIV positive. In Africa a positive HIV antibody test result is not necessary for reporting AIDS cases; prolonged symptoms are enough.

4621 cases of AIDS without HIV were found in the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports up to 1993. And the number could be much larger but the official definition of AIDS is designed to eliminate AIDS cases without HIV.

AIDS is distinguished from virtually every other disease in history by the fact that it has no constant specific symptoms. AIDS is an umbrella term for 29 old diseases and one non-disease (a T4 cell count of less than 200/ul of blood) when a person has an HIV-positive antibody test result. The official CDC definition of AIDS excludes HIV-negative AIDS by definition.

How the CDC's AIDS definition works:

Kaposi's Sarcoma + HIV = AIDS
Kaposi's Sarcoma - HIV = Kaposi's Sarcoma

Pneumonia + HIV = AIDS
Pneumonia - HIV = Pneumonia

Dementia + HIV = AIDS
Dementia - HIV = Dementia

and so on...

<200 T4 cell count + HIV = AIDS
<200 T4 cell count - HIV = no disease

There is no disease that is only caused by HIV. HIV is said to cause 29 old diseases when it is present. When it is not, the original causes of these diseases are responsible for them.

The official definition of AIDS creates a 100% correlation between the virus and AIDS. This "correlation" is not objective or scientific, but is artificial and deceptively self-fulfilling.

Estimated total HIV infected worldwide: 28,000,000 ?
Total of reported AIDS cases worldwide: 1,400,000

95% percent of people with HIV do not have AIDS.

These information is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to HIV/AIDS. It is meticulous and tedious to study and research this subject, but there are literally thousands of physicians and researchers that dispute this claim. For anyone interested, just check out the following links and be patient. What you will learn is GUARANTEED to blow your mind.

VIDEOS
House of Numbers - http://youtu.be/_p-ttLfkZHQ
Why I Began Questioning HIV - http://youtu.be/vaMZ4NyNCwI
HIV Testing 101 - http://youtu.be/vT3b_0doyRk
CDC Initial AIDS Definition(s) - http://youtu.be/Z65I2G4e-nQ
Dr Peter Duesberg: A Cautionary Tale! - http://youtu.be/EtUJnIeWybg
The Emperors New Virus? - An Analysis of the Evidence for the Existence of HIV - http://youtu.be/kMg4HR4dPN8
The Other Side of AIDS - http://youtu.be/0dVYJp5dHf8
Deconstructing The Myth Of AIDS - http://youtu.be/RfUYtXxps-Y
The Greatest Medical Fraud in History - The Pain, Profit and Politics of AIDS - http://youtu.be/vT3b_0doyRk
HIV=AIDS: Fact or Fraud? - http://youtu.be/JTxvmKHYajQ

In a society such as ours that pills are sold and sometimes end up doing more damage than the disease, it is questionable as part of the government if there is a need or a must to fund a cure, i do believe all resources are present as a whole, but as the world is funded under capitalist rule, we tend to do what we must for money instead of a greater good. A vaccine is always possible, i may not know how.