How to Prevent HIV

Those people who haven't studied medicine often wonder about why specialists don't create a vaccine that would protect people against getting infected with HIV. The truth is that things aren't as easy as they may seem to those who don't have enough knowledge about the topic.

Vaccine for HIV

We must face the fact that at this moment an HIV vaccine has not been yet discovered. If such a vaccine existed, it could be given to people who hadn't been infected with HIV in order to make sure that they wouldn't contact the infection. Still, as I have mentioned previously, there is no effective vaccine. Since there is no actual cure for AIDS, the researchers are really trying to focus on creating a vaccine that would really work.

For some time now, specialists have realized that HIV is a kind of virus that is very difficult to render harmless. The research work that is done in order to create a vaccine against this virus is part of a strategy that is meant to reduce the number of people who have been infected in the world. There are also some other approaches regarding this topic, such as the antiviral treatments which include the highly active antiretroviral therapy (also known as HAART). This second category of people is focusing on the prevention of the infection, by promoting safe sex.

Although until now it hasn't been created, it is very possible of such a vaccine to be created in the future. There has been some work done with monoclonal antibodies (also known as MAb) and this has shown that the human body might have the possibility to defend itself against the HIV virus, and that some of the infected people don't show any signs of the infection for decades even if they have contacted the virus. In 2009 there have been several teams which made public that antibodies are actually a part of the results from early stage clinical trials. Still you should know that these are just some early tests and the methods have not yet been tested on humans.

People have realized the importance of creating a vaccine against HIV since there have been a lot of deaths whose cause was AIDS, more accurately about 25 million people died since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981. Even more, in 2002 AIDS has become one of the most wide spread causes of death because of an infectious agent that could be found in Africa.

Alternative treatments

There are some other medical treatments that might be considered to be an alternative for a vaccine. One of them is the HAART (that stands for highly active antiretroviral therapy). This has been very useful in many cases where people have been infected with HIV. This method was introduced for the first time in 1996 and in that year the protease inhibitor-based HAART became available. This method makes it possible to stabilize the symptoms that the patient has and also the viremia; nevertheless, the patient doesn't get cured of the infection through this method.

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