Despite the major strides that have been made in HIV therapy with the advent of potent antiretroviral drugs, these medications are quite expensive and are still not readily available for the vast majority of infected individuals worldwide. Even when available, the long-term toxicities associated with anti-retroviral medications and the frequent emergence of drug-resistance mutations can complicate therapy, making the formulation of effective vaccines imperative. This chapter will review the current state of understanding regarding cell-mediated immune responses that are associated with control of HIV replication. This knowledge has generated sound hypotheses regarding the prospects for augmenting cell-mediated immunity through immune-based therapies. With regard to prophylactic vaccines, it is presently unclear which vaccine-induced immune responses will protect against infection. While much progress has been made in formulating vaccine constructs designed to elicit cell-mediated immune responses, sterilizing immunity is unlikely to be achieved with the current vaccines. However, the ability to control viremia and prevent disease progression in animal infection models looks promising. The ability to measure immune responses has also advanced markedly over the past few years and will allow investigators to more accurately measure the immunogenicity of vaccine constructs, and correlate the magnitude and breadth of these responses with protection.
Keywords: cellular immunity, hiv infection, hiv therapy, drug-resistance, hiv replication, prophylactic vaccines, cell-mediated immune
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