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Abstract zur Publikation: HIV: epidemiology and strategies for therapy and vaccination

Marcus U, Dittmar MT, Kräusslich HG (2002): HIV: epidemiology and strategies for therapy and vaccination.
Intervirology 45 (4-6): 260-266.

In the decades since its discovery, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS has developed into one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with a dramatic situation in many countries of subsaharan Africa. A large body of knowledge has been acquired regarding the molecular biology and replication properties of the causative agent of AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, despite these advances the global spread of HIV and especially its spread in developing countries continues almost unabated. During the last decade, drugs inhibiting HIV replication have been introduced into clinical use and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) using a combination of several drugs has been proven to slow or halt the course of the disease in most patients. However, HAART is currently only available in countries of the developed world and the emergence of resistant variants may rapidly lead to a partial loss of this therapeutic arsenal. Thus, the development of a prophylactic vaccine against HIV must be the ultimate goal to control the global pandemic of AIDS. This minireview summarises the state of the epidemic and discusses current treatment strategies as well as future developments. Finally, strategies towards the development of a vaccine against HIV are presented and recent studies using prime-boost regimens to achieve protection from disease in animal models while not preventing infection with the challenge virus are discussed.







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