Returning Fire Against AIDS

Could giving a vaccine to people after they are infected keep the virus from destroying the immune system?

Even if an effective AIDS vaccine were discovered tomorrow, its development would presumably be of little benefit to the 3 million to 5 million people around the globe who already harbor the virus in their body. Most vaccines work to prevent an infection, not to eliminate it after it has taken hold. Now, however, a group of scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Rockville, Md., believe they may have found a retroactive vaccine. In a study published in last week's New England Journal of Medicine, the team announced that repeated immunizations with a genetically engineered AIDS vaccine...

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