Back in 2009, results from the RV144 HIV vaccine trial, aka the Thai trial, found that the HIV vaccine candidate in the study was about 31% effective in protecting against HIV when compared to a placebo. Though this result was modest, it was the first major breakthrough in HIV vaccine research, which renewed hope in the field. Since then, new vaccine candidates and approaches have been developed, with many more options being explored.
However, vaccine development can be a slow, challenging process. We asked some of the leading experts in the field what some of the biggest obstacles are to developing a successful HIV vaccine, and what we can do to overcome them.