RESOURCES: Sticking It to HIV

Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5612.1493b

Last week, California-based VaxGen reported that its prototype HIV vaccine had failed in the largest human trial to date. The vaccine was the first to be widely tested against HIV, although half a dozen other versions are in clinical trials. Track efforts to create a vaccine against the devious AIDS virus at this site from the nonprofit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

For researchers, the most useful feature is a database packed with current and past clinical trials, searchable by type of preparation, location, and manufacturer. The database lists methods and publications for completed trials, and you can find out which ongoing studies still need volunteers. For students and teachers, handy primers summarize the different approaches to HIV immunizations and the basics of vaccine testing. Visitors can catch up on the latest developments by browsing a collection of media stories and a newsletter. Another page investigates technical challenges that have hindered vaccine development. One of the biggest hurdles, for example, is preventing the virus from infiltrating the body through the mucous membranes.

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