Nobel winners frustrated, hopeful about AIDS vax

The French scientist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for her work involving the discovery of HIV, tells the AP that the quest to find a vaccine to guard against AIDS has been "a succession of failures." But when they first made their breakthrough 25 years ago, she said they felt that scientists would soon be able to stop the deadly epidemic that has since claimed millions of lives worldwide.

"We naively thought that the discovery of the virus would allow us to quickly learn more about it, to develop diagnostic tests--which has been done--and to develop treatments, which has also been done to a large extent and, most of all, develop a vaccine that would prevent the global epidemic," she said.

But her colleague and co-winner of the Nobel Prize, Luc Montagnier, says that he believes that a new therapeutic vaccine will be available within four years--provided there is enough financial support for the work that's needed.

"I think it'll be possible with a therapeutic vaccine rather than preventative vaccinations. We would give it only to people who are already infected," the French scientist told the Telegraph.

- read the story in the International Herald Tribune
- read the report in the Business Standard