Penta Foundation recently spoke with Paolo Palma of Bambino Gesu Children Hospital in Rome, a core member of the EPIICAL team to uncover some reasons there is still no cure for HIV, even though there is a vaccine for COVID-19, also known as SARS-COV-2 in one year.
According to Paolo, “the search for a universal and effective HIV vaccine is incredibly difficult due to the structure of the HIV. HIV is extremely variable. And as we learn from the search for an effective SARS-COV-2 vaccine, we know the importance, for instance, of the spike protein, which is the main target for the current vaccines that are currently available in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He further went on to explain that HIV is a virus that is constantly changing, and this variation creates a problem in an attempt to identify a universal vaccine.
During the discussion, Paolo reiterated the importance of HIV research carried out over the years in the early identification of the COVID-19 vaccines. He also stated that the biology of HIV is very much different compared to SARS-COV-2, and hence the reason we still do not have an HIV vaccine that is effective for patients.