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HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In spite of successful interventions and treatment protocols, an HIV vaccine would be the ultimate prevention and control strategy. Ever since identification of HIV/AIDS, there have been meticulous efforts for vaccine development. The specific aim of this paper is to review recent vaccine efficacy trials and associated advancements and discuss the current challenges and future directions. Recombinant DNA technologies greatly facilitated development of many viral products which were later incorporated into vectors for effective vaccines. Over the years, a number of scientific approaches have gained popularity and include the induction of neutralizing antibodies in late 1980s, induction of CD8 T cell in early 1990s, and combination approaches currently. Scientists have hypothesized that stimulation of right sequences of somatic hypermutations could induce broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) capable of effective neutralization and viral elimination. Studies have shown that a number of host and viral factors affect these processes. Similarly, eliciting specific CD8 T cells immune responses through DNA vaccines hold future promises. In summary, future studies should focus on the continuous fight between host immune responses and ever-evasive viral factors for effective vaccines.


Originally published in the Journal of Immunology Research.

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