Why There Is No Vaccine For HIV/AIDS

Because there is no vaccine for HIV, the only way people can prevent infection with the virus is to avoid behaviors putting them at risk of infection, such as sharing needles and having unprotected sex.

Many people infected with HIV/AIDS have no symptoms. It is therefore difficult to know with certainity whether a sexual partner is infected with HIV unless they have taken a HIV test and not engaged in risky behavior since.

Abastaining from sex or using a condom will offer protection during oral,anal and vaginal sex. Only water based lubes should be used when using male condoms.

There is some evidence that shows spermicides can kill HIV, researchers have not proved that these products can actually prevent transmission.

Recently, NIAID-supported two studies that found adult male medical circumcision reduces a man’s risk of acquiring HIV infection by approximately 50 percent. The studies, conducted in Uganda and Kenya, pertain only to heterosexual transmission. As with other prevention strategies, male circumcision is not completely effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. Circumcision will be most effective when it is part of a more complete prevention strategy, including the ABCs (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Use Condoms) of HIV prevention.

Vaccines help the immune system to recognize a pathogen so that it can fight it off if it shows up. In face of extraordinary advances in understanding both HIV and the immune system a successful HIV vaccine continues to be unattainable. This why we primarily reley on HIV medications like Kaletra (Aluvia), and Combivir.

HIV attacks CD4+ T cells, the most important part of the immune system that coordinates and directs the activities of other types of immune cells that combat intruding microbes. For a vaccine to be effective, it will need to be able to activate these cells-a difficult feat if they’re being infected and destroyed by the virus.Scientists have not identified the correlates of immunity, or protection, for HIV and are still trying to design vaccines to induce the appropriate immune responses necessary for protection.


Unlike other viral diseases for which investigators have made successful vaccines, there are no documented cases of complete recovery from HIV infection. So, HIV vaccine research has no actual human model of recovery from an infection and subsequent protection from re-infection to help it. HIV will continually mutate in an infected person while it recombinds to evolve into brand new strains. This extensive diversity of HIV poses a challenge to vaccine design as an HIV vaccine would need to protect against many different strains of the virus circulating throughout the world. Conventional vaccines have had to protect against one or a limited number of strains.