Researchers have investigated different types of vaccines in the hopes that one will produce a strong immune response. One type of vaccine is the DNA vaccine. This type of vaccine is made of small pieces of DNA containing genes from a virus, such as HIV, grown in bacteria. Once injected, the host's cells are able to express HIV's genes and produce specific proteins; this will enable the immune system to react and respond in an effective and controlled method. (1)
Unlike a preventative vaccine that is administered to a person without an infection, a therapeutic vaccine is designed to improve the body's immune response to HIV in a person who already has HIV. Researchers hope that therapeutic vaccines will ideally keep HIV at undetectable levels without the need for regular antiretroviral therapy. A therapeutic HIV vaccine may also make it less likely that a person could transmit HIV to others. (2)
The study will look to see if an anti-HIV vaccine is safe and effective in people infected with HIV. Additionally, the study will look at whether or not the anti-HIV vaccine improves immune responses.
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