Spotlight Center on HIV Prevention Today

How Will We Finally Create a Successful Vaccine for HIV?


Nicole Frahm, Assistant Professor, Global Health at UW

Nicole Frahm

Assistant Professor, Global Health at UW

I think the one biggest one is HIV itself. It's an extremely complicated bug because it basically infects the cells of the immune system that are supposed to help you prevent an infection in the first place. So the fact that it infects CD4 cells makes it very hard to build a good immune response against it. And the other problem is that it's so diverse. To me, the problems are still mainly scientific.

But we've learned more about HIV in a very short amount of time than we've learned about any other bug in the history of infectious disease. It's really because HIV itself is so complicated that we haven't really figured out how to get a hold of it. I think that within the past couple of years, since RV144, the community as a whole has come together, both research and funders. It's a really exciting environment to be working in right now. So it's just a matter of time before we figure out how we're going to be able to deal with this.

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