Current efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine are misdirected because of the unique nature of the AIDS virus, and a new approach is needed to fight the deadly disease, according to a new report.
In a paper being published Friday in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Albert Sabin, a renowed microbiologist who helped conquer polio with a vaccine for that disease, said no AIDS vaccine currently being developed was worth being tested on humans."The purpose of this communication is to indicate why the worldwide search for a vaccine against AIDS has been and continues to be based on assumptions that fail to take into consideration the most important facts that distinguish this disease . . . from viral disease . . . for which effective vaccines have been used for decades," he wrote.
Sabin said studies evaluating the effectiveness of the experimental AIDS vaccines in monkeys have been done by vaccinating the animals and then injecting them with virus.
However, Sabin said that approach was inadequate for evaluating the effectiveness of a vaccine because humans are most commonly exposed to virus that is already inside cells, such as blood cells or semen cells.