Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (cont.)
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Eric S. Daar, MD
Dr. Daar received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and his clinical and research fellowship in infectious diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA.
In this Article
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) facts
- What does AIDS stand for? What causes AIDS?
- What is the history of AIDS?
- What are symptoms and signs of AIDS?
- What are risk factors for AIDS?
- How is AIDS diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for HIV/AIDS?
- What is the treatment for HIV during pregnancy?
- What is the treatment for non-HIV-infected people who are exposed to the genital secretions or blood someone with HIV?
- What are the complications of HIV?
- What is the prognosis for HIV infection?
- Can AIDS be prevented?
- Is there a vaccine for HIV?
- What research is being done to find a cure for HIV?
- Where can a person find information about clinical trials for HIV and AIDS?
- HIV-AIDS Rxlist FAQs
- Find a local Infectious Disease Specialist in your town
Is there a vaccine for HIV?
To date, there is no effective vaccine for HIV. Several attempts have been made to make a vaccine but all have failed. This remains an active area of research.
What research is being done to find a cure for HIV?
The search for a cure for HIV began as soon as the virus was identified. HIV is probably one of the most studied viruses in history. Scientists have a detailed knowledge of the virus' genes, proteins, and understand how it functions. In fact, the combinations of drugs that make up HAART therapy were chosen because they attack different parts of the virus life cycle, causing it to malfunction. However, HAART therapy is not a cure and the drugs must be taken for life. Even when viral levels are low, the virus is still present in the body.
One of the problems with finding a cure is that the virus can hide in areas that are difficult for drugs to reach, like the brain. New research is helping us understand how to effectively treat viruses in these secluded areas of the body. In addition, the virus can become dormant or "latent," which means that it does not reproduce actively and thus cannot be attacked by medicines that inhibit reproduction. Latent viruses can reactivate if drugs are stopped. Research is being done now to determine how latency occurs and how the virus reactivates.
Where can a person find information about clinical trials for HIV and AIDS?
There are a large number of studies currently under way that involve HIV-infected patients. These studies are registered in a central database that can be searched at http://clinicaltrials.gov.
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Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group. "Public Health Service Task Force Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States." Apr. 29, 2009: 1-90. <http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/ContentFiles/PerinatalGL.pdf>.
Richman, Douglas D., David M. Margolis, Martin Delaney, Warner C. Greene, Daria Hazuda, Roger J. Pomerantz. "The Challenge of Finding a Cure for HIV Infection." Science 323.5919 Mar. 6, 2009: 1304-1307.
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