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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Therapeutic Vaccines for HIV-1 Infection - Past, Present and Future

The introduction of triple drug combination therapy (highly active antiretroviral therapy, or 'HAART') has had a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of HIV-1 infection. However, initial optimism regarding the potency of antiretroviral agents was subsequently dampened when it became clear that there were still major obstacles to overcome. Undesirable side effects frequently occur and drug-resistant viruses may emerge if adherence to strict regimes is not maintained. Patients are committed to staying on therapy for life, yet it is unlikely that HIV-1 eradication can be achieved by HAART because of a persistent cellular reservoir of virus. Perhaps the most significant limitation of HAART is its cost: 90 per cent of the 40 million individuals living with HIV-1 infection today live in developing countries and have no access to treatment.


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By Dr Lucy Dorrell, Clinician Scientist Fellow at the Medical Research Council's Human Immunology Unit

Lucy Dorrell is a Clinician Scientist Fellow at the Medical Research Council Human Immunology Unit, Warrell Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford, UK. She is a Principal Investigator in clinical trials of novel therapeutic vaccines for HIV.
Lucy joined the Unit in 1997 and undertook research into cellular immune responses to HIV, based at MRC Laboratories, The Gambia. Prior to this she spent four years at Imperial College School of Medicine, where she took her doctorate degree, and was involved in clinical trials of antiretroviral therapies.

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Dr Lucy Dorrell
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