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HIV vaccine research: crisis of faith?

HIV/AIDS researchers are despondent over the waning prospects of ever creating an effective vaccine against the virus, according to a linkurl:survey;http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-independents-hiv-survey-the-questions-and-answers-814936.html conducted by British newspaper __The Independent__. But can it really be all that bad? "Most scientists involved in Aids research believe that a vaccine against HIV is further away than ever and some have admitted that effective immunisation

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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HIV/AIDS researchers are despondent over the waning prospects of ever creating an effective vaccine against the virus, according to a linkurl:survey;http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-independents-hiv-survey-the-questions-and-answers-814936.html conducted by British newspaper __The Independent__. But can it really be all that bad? "Most scientists involved in Aids research believe that a vaccine against HIV is further away than ever and some have admitted that effective immunisation against the virus may never be possible," __The Independent__ linkurl:article,;http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/is-it-time-to-give-up-the-search-for-an-aids-vaccine-814737.html which ran today (Apr 24), began. The trouble is that __The Independent__ polled only "35 leading Aids scientists in Britain and the United States" - not an especially large sample. The interpretation of their results also seems somewhat selective to this reader. The debate concerning the search for an HIV vaccine swirls around the recent linkurl:failure;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53633/ of major clinical vaccine trials, and a subsequent NIH linkurl:summit,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54488/ where the research community decided to ratchet back its clinical research and focus more on...

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