Thursday, December 9, 2021

mRNA HIV Vaccine


Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have recently tested an experimental mRNA HIV vaccine in mice and non-human primates and found promising results. The tests have shown that it is safe and is effective against HIV-like diseases. Rhesus monkeys received a priming vaccine and multiple boosters which resulted in a 79% lower exposure risk of infection to simian-human immunodeficiency virus when to compared to monkeys who had not received the vaccines. The vaccine works similar to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines by carrying coded instructions for making two key HIV proteins instead of carrying instructions for the coronavirus spike protein. Some mild, temporary side effects were seen such as loss of appetite in the animals who received the vaccines, but the vaccine was highly tolerated. Macaques were immunized weekly for thirteen weeks, and after the thirteen weeks, 2 out of the 7 immunized remained uninfected. The other 5 had a delayed reaction at just after 8 weeks, and those not immunized became infected after three weeks. The scientists are working to refine their vaccine protocol to lower the amount of inoculations needed to produce an immune response. These results are promising to take control of one of the world's most serious health challenges.


  1. Hi Julia,

    I think the development of the HIV vaccine is such an interesting topic to learn more about. HIV is a difficult disease to cure do to it producing rapidly which essentially makes it hard to control. I wonder how HIV vaccine manufactures will tackle this issue and limit the rapid mutation copies of the virus. I also wonder if this vaccine would in someway benefit people who have already contacted the virus. From reading the article and your post it seems as if there has been great progress in this development. Hopefully in the next few years we will be able to see this in the market. Thousands of people would be able to benefit from this vaccine.

  2. I definitely think that this is an important area of research, as it would benefit so many people if it were to produce a successful vaccine. I wonder if it would benefit people who already contracted the virus or if it would have no effect on them.