News FocusAIDS VACCINE RESEARCH

HIV Natural Resistance Field Finally Overcomes Resistance

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Science  11 Dec 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5959, pp. 1476-1477
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5959.1476

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Summary

Dozens of studies have been examining people who fend off HIV despite repeated exposures in an effort to find genetic or immunologic factors that can help guide AIDS vaccine research. But all too often the leads point in contradictory directions, in part because investigators use different assays to probe their samples, and there is little coordination among them. Many labs also use wildly varying criteria to decide who qualifies as HIV-resistant, making it difficult to sort out which study subjects were truly exposed and uninfected, were exposed and have an occult infection, or were never exposed in the first place. At the first-ever meeting on natural immunity to HIV, held from 15 to 17 November, researchers attempted to hammer out these and other issues.