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HIV vaccination

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

At present, there is no vaccine available against infection with the human immunodeficiency virus.

There are various problems in development of an effective HIV vaccine:

  • there are two populations of viruses responsible for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), HIV-1 and HIV-2
  • like other RNA viruses, HIV mutates rapidly, producing antigenically heterogenous viruses within a single person; at least 5 distinct subgroups of HIV-1 have been identified
  • HIV may be transmitted as a cell-free virus and by HIV-infected cells and so neutralizing antibodies alone are unlikely to be sufficient to prevent infection

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