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Being Alive
MEDICAL UPDATE: New Vaccine in Phase I Trial
presented by Mark Katz MD and reported by Jim Stoecker
January 5, 1993
Being Alive 1993 Jan 5: 9

The vaccines that we have reported on in the past (gp120 and gp160 are examples) have worked by increasing HIV antibodies. With retroviral infections, however, antibodies do not appear to be enough to completely contain the infection.

At last summer's AIDS conference in Amsterdam, Dr. Jonas Salk, world renowned developer of the polio vaccine, addressed this point. Salk conceded that raising antibody levels may be useful in slowing the progression of HIV. But HIV, he argued, is a disease of the T-cells. Thus, we need a vaccine that doesn't just raise antibody levels, but makes T-cells work better in fighting HIV.

Now we have word that a new vaccine, geared to a lymphocyte response, is undergoing a small Phase I trial. This is the first use in humans of "gene therapy" for HIV. We look forward to more detailed reports on this new kind of vaccine.