Why there is no vaccine for AIDS | UPSC

Today, nearly half a century after its detection, AIDS still has no vaccine or cure. This anomaly in humanity’s otherwise remarkable track record in tackling major infectious diseases is a result of several factors.

Chief among them is that the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is an incredibly error-prone process that results in multiple variants of the virus circulating.

The sheer number of all the different strains circulating in the world is in fact the biggest challenge to an HIV vaccine today.

HIV has more variants circulating in a single patient at any given point of time than influenza cumulatively generates in one year in all influenza patients around the world combined. And influenza is the second-best virus in terms of genetic variation.

Four papers recently published in Science journals outlined two promising nanoparticle-based vaccine candidates: N332-GT5 and eOD-GT8.