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The Search For an HIV Vaccine May Soon Be Over

HIV is one of the deadliest viruses on the
planet, newly infecting about 1.7 million people in 2018. Since the early days of the
epidemic, the virus itself has confounded researchers, who have long been searching
for a vaccine to prevent its spread. And after years of slow progress, that search may soon
be over. The epidemic as we now know it, is thought
to have started in the mid-to late 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1983 that the HIV virus
was first identified and isolated. By that point, HIV had begun to rapidly spread around
the world—and since the epidemic began, it’s claimed the lives of over 32 million
people. To understand why this virus causes so much
harm, we first need to know how it invades the body. First off, it’s a retrovirus,
which is a type of virus that inserts a copy of its genome into the DNA of a host cell
— in HIV’s case, T-helper cells which help our immune system fight off infection.
After latching onto the cell, HIV fuses with it, integrating its genetic information with
the new host’s DNA. The infected cell then produces more HIV proteins, which are eventually
released into the bloodstream where they continue to replicate. If left untreated, HIV severely
weakens the immune system’s ability to function properly—this final stage of the infection
is AIDS. And it’s precisely the virus’ unique characteristics
which allow it to propagate inside the human body that also make it so difficult to tackle.
“HIV is a remarkably small virus. It has few genes comprised in it, regardless of how
small and simple it may be, it has very complex dynamic interactions with the human immune
system.” There’s currently a few ways to stop HIV
from progressing in its life cycle. Specific drugs have been developed that can stop the
virus from attaching to T-helper cells, while other types of drugs work to prevent the virus
from taking control of the cell’s nucleus and enter the bloodstream. Called antiretroviral
therapy, or ART, this drug combination works well, but is expensive and requires lifelong
upkeep. “In those resource constrained areas or
where the stigma of HIV is still a major problem, prevention methods that require daily pills
may still limit the number of individuals who would have access to these. It’s only
through the application of very highly effective vaccines that we’ve been able to control an
infection that spread around the globe, and eventually eradicate that.”
But that doesn’t mean developing a vaccine is easy. There aren’t many good models to
reference for research in humans, which means we don’t know what the body’s immune response
looks like when trying to protect itself. HIV’s extraordinary diversity and ability
to rapidly mutate are also huge obstacles in getting a grip on the virus. Just recently,
researchers announced that they’d ID’ed a new strain, the first in 19 years. Despite
this, there has been huge progress made in the last decade.
In 2009, researchers declared that a vaccine trial done in Thailand had protected a significant
minority of humans against the disease for the first time ever. RV144, is a combination
of two genetically engineered vaccines, neither of which had worked before in humans.
“We observed a modest level of efficacy over three and a half years—about 30%. So,
we have initiated a clinical trial in South Africa that is marching along the path to
try to confirm these findings from the Thai trial and extend those findings through a
number of approaches.” As the world’s largest publicly-funded international
collaboration focused on the development of vaccines to prevent HIV and AIDS, HVTN has
conducted all phases of clinical trials that have involved thousands of people. In addition
to two massive trials to test whether giving antibodies to patients can protect them from
HIV infection, as of this year the group has also fully enrolled two similarly ambitious
vaccine trials. Called HVTN 702 and 705, these regimes were designed to test whether patients
given a vaccine can create antibodies on their own. Both vary slightly in their approach—
702 is based off of the Thai trial, while 705 is focusing on overcoming the viruses’
genetic diversity. “What’s very exciting is that the immune
responses elicited by these three different vaccine strategies is different within each
clinical trial, but there’s similarities across them. And we’re looking for specific immune
responses that we will correlate with vaccine efficacy, with just a few dozen people that
will eventually lead us to a more globally effective vaccine that could be used across
different populations and routes of exposure.” With hopes high, and even higher stakes, the
mood of the vaccine research seems to be one of cautious optimism. But results of both
the 705 and 702 vaccine regimes won’t be in until late 2021 and 2022, when the trials
are expected to close. “They will certainly be a success and that
will get a clear answer as to whether or not these vaccines worked, but I think we also
have to be measured in our expectations. And that this is one of the most formidable biomedical
challenges we’ve ever undertaken as a society, as a global research community.”
If you want to learn more about the search for a potential HIV cure, check out this episode
of How Close Are We. If you liked this video, let us know down in the comments and
don’t forget to subscribe for more Seeker. As always, thanks for watching, and I’ll
see you next time.

Cesar Sullivan

100 thoughts on “The Search For an HIV Vaccine May Soon Be Over

  1. Hi Seekers, thanks for watching! Want more on the history behind vaccines? Check out this video on the first vaccine ever:

  2. Better to have safe sex and not mess around with a lot of partners. Of course, you could be with one partner for the rest of your life, and one of you could happen to have an STD genetically, but there's greater chance of acquiring diseases like that if you treat relationships and sex with a cavalier attitude.

  3. People, find yourself a life partner that you can do it every night and stop screwing everyone that you see on the road lol for those who can't avoid this, good luck until then.

  4. Wait, so will we be able to, say, have sex with a person with HIV and not get it. Then, will HIV die out with the people? If so, well thank God. In this day and age, I was getting concerned about my family getting sick.

  5. What? Big Pharma hides cures? What? no? you're just regurgitating biased opinions from people on youtube who are weird and have achieved nothing of real value to humanity? Gotcha

  6. Aids has been proven to be a hoax, azt the medication fast tracked to treat aids was exposed as the cause of deaths. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, these people are sickos! Don't let them inject you or your children!

  7. I was very lucky that I did not contract HIV when my partner did. Now I take PReP daily, so that I don't have to feel that horrible and afraid again. I was one of the lucky ones. But a vaccine would change everything.

  8. I have a suggestion: Bacteriophages are viruses that eat bacteria.

    Has the world’s scientific community found a bacteria that eats viruses? Aka the reverse?
    If so, just find one that can be genetically modified to eat this virus.

    Our planet has got to have something that eats viruses. If we have bacteriophages which are viruses that eat bacteria, we should also be able to find the reverse somewhere.

    PS, when I say eat, I mean destroy… but yea.

  9. And why are you not showing the Doctor that won the Nobel prize for descovering the aids virus ..!
    He indeed may have the vaxine by now ..!

  10. Do you know what batteries, quantum computers and AIDS have in common? For decades we have been hearing some "breakthroughs" every now and then about them and nothing actually happens on ground.

  11. We could have saved decades of research by asking Magic Johnson what he did. Either he lied about having HIV or western scientists have a major stick up their butts.

  12. Question to seeker: Why tf are you so late on reporting topics that people already know by the time YOU air it. You mostly just repeat info that was already released sometimes several months in advance.


  14. Drug companies have been treating HIV/AIDS like a money-making GOLDMINE since the mid-'80s. Said drug companies AREN'T going to give up their greedy, billion-dollar-a-year, CHARITY-GOLDMINE so easy! Could've been cured a LOOOONG time ago.

  15. Sounds nice and all but the vaccine will either be overly priced or a happy accident will occur and thus no more vaccine.

  16. You're a gay kid in a religious household. You can't express your sexuality because of abstinence only education and avenues to dating are more difficult to access. Homosexuality is pushed to the fringes. Gay people get into sex and drugs as a dangerous association to their identify repressed so long in a household that also happened to ban substances. They don't use condoms. They get aids then they die because of their anti-vaxxer mom didn't have them vaccinated for this shit when they were yoynger.

    Religious Nutjob: AIDS is gods punishment for homosexuality!

    Everyone else: No, you are.

  17. Yup! I’m sure this drug, like hundreds before it, will pass all clinical trials and be FDA approved! /s

    Come on, let’s be realistic. We’ll eventually reach a solution, but we should be cautiously optimistic. This vaccine is one of hundreds being tested globally. There’s no more reason why 702 will work over another one developed at and failed at, say, ohsu.

  18. We don’t know how we will react so we test them on people in Africa? Why not do it on people here in America that have it… not being rude, I just feel like they treat them like test animals.

  19. Um no CRSPR is your answer. The mutation CCR5-delta 32 causes an immunity to HIV. Stop promoting big pharma. 1% of people have this mutation.

  20. ouh Finally the Military decides to release the anti virus.. we knew it was Developed in Military Lab in merelyland usa

  21. If you think they don't already have a cure for hiv your an idiot. The gov has a cure for everything, they only sell it to elites though, like magic Johnson.

  22. what if i tell you aids and hiv have vaccine since 100 years ago… the government dont want to release it so people wont have unprotected sex all over the world and lead to moral break down in humanity, crime rate increase and there is no peace

  23. Are we all going to pretend that it's more profitable to cure a disease rather than to treat it for eternity? C'mon wake up .

  24. AIDS/HIV & Natural Cure, or Remedy

    “The Truth About AIDS/HIV”
    1. In 1986, Dr. Robert B. Strecker & his brother, Attorney Theodore A. Strecker produced a Video titled “The Strecker Memorandum”, exposing AIDS/HIV as a Man-Made Disease, with a complete Reference List.
    2. On March 28, 1986 the Strecker’s presented to all US Government Officials up to & including the President, a document titled, “This IS A Bio-Attack Alert”, complete with detailed Reference List.
    3. AIDS/HIV was designed to be intentionally spread through medical injection programs.
    AIDS/HIV was created at Fort Detrick MD, in Building 550 to be exact, according to researcher Zears L Miles In 1989.
    4. AIDS/HIV needs a Protein Enzyme “Reverse Transcriptase” to replicate, or reproduce itself in the Human Body.
    5. AIDS/HIV has an incubation period of 7-15 years to replicate. The healthier you are the longer it takes to take over your body.
    6. People who have AIDS/HIV & have multiple sex partners who also have AIDS/HIV are overcome quickly because the disease is designed to copy itself into your DNA an because we are each different, those with multiple partners pick up the various strains of other peoples version or type, which complicates their illness, by design.
    7. The “Natural Cure” is obtained through the use of “Olive Leaf Extract”, which contains a powerful substance called “Oleuropein”, which inhibits the protein enzyme “Reverse Transcriptase”.
    8. For Thousands Of Years Olive Leaf Extract has been used as a Tea or powder to cure & Naturally Control every type of Disease, Bacteria & Virus as a Natural Antibiotic.
    9. Every part of the Olive Tree has healing properties, which are natural & can’t be Patented.
    Science has seriously deceived Humanity with Drugs, Vaccines and even Microwave Ovens, which Russian Scientists proved in the 1970’s is harmful to the human body, because microwave foods go through a molecular change and the human body doesn’t know what to do with it.
    Even Cancer was cured in the early 1900’s in the USA & Germany.
    Royal R Rife of San Diego California cured every known & unknown disease in the 1930’s.
    Good Luck
    John Burns
    Private Health Research Since 1986

  25. I hope that there will be a cure for hiv as soon a possible because many people living with hiv to want leave normal .Many people are dying
    THANk you for the sacrifices to create a vaccine

  26. i see this type of video every goddamn month/week/year…. "SO CLOSE TO FINDING CURE FOR HIV" "SO CLOSE TO CURING CANCERS" yall need to stop. report when there's an actual vaccine or actual cure…

  27. As far as i could remember there was already a cure. Magic Johnson bought one, and here we are fooling others saying we may have a cure but we already have. Somehow authorities don't release it to the public.

  28. Unless it's actually is "over", then I don't want to hear about it.
    They have been saying this kind of thing the past twenty years and I'm over it.
    Stop it with the suggestive terms. The government has had a vaccine or cure for this for longer than we know, but withhold it to keep these sick people on their overpriced meds.
    The LGBT community is pushing this PrEP like it's the Holy Grail, which is causing an influx in unsafe sex and an increase in HIV cases again. People are not understanding that some people are unreactive to the medication and it doesn't work for them, therefore they are vulnerable to catching HIV from their partners (or strangers) not realizing the medication is failing in their system. There have been cases where people have used the medication as directed and still caught the virus from their positive partner.
    Until the government gets serious about this disease and pandemic (which if mostly affecting marginalized communities that they really don't care about anyways), then nothing will change.

  29. Once a cure is discovered corporations will take this opportunity to sell the cure at unaffordable prices still leaving large numbers of people to suffer from this disease.

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