Since the emergence of this novel virus in the early 1980’s, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has become the number 1 viral infection causing disease and death worldwide. It is currently estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that about 35 million people are living with HIV and each year over 1 million people die from AIDS-related disease.
The development of a range of effective anti-retroviral drugs has transformed HIV infection from a death sentence to a manageable disease in the western world, with life expectancy close to normal. However these drugs:
In this situation, the development of an effective vaccine that prevented people becoming infected with HIV would have a major impact on this disease. However, developing a vaccine that can persist in the blood for many years is a tremendous challenge that has thwarted scientific endeavour so far. Work in this area is covered by:
Sarah Gilbert, CFAR Project ManagerDebbie Ferguson, Principal ScientistNeil Berry, Principal Scientist