Background: Among the various types of pharmaceuticals, vaccines have a special place.
However, in the case of HIV, nearly after 40 years of its discovery, an effective vaccine still is not
available. The reason lies in several facts mainly the variability and smartness of HIV as well as the
complexity of the interaction between HIV and immune responses. A robust, effective, and longterm
immunity is undoubtedly what a successful preventive vaccine should induce in order to prevent
the infection of HIV. Failure of human trials to this end has led to the idea of developing therapeutic
vaccines with the purpose of curing already infected patients by boosting their immune responses
against the virus. Nevertheless, the exceptional ability of the virus to escape the immune
system based on the genetically diverse envelope and variable protein products have made it difficult
to achieve an efficient therapeutic vaccine.
Objective: We aimed at studying and comparing different approaches to HIV therapeutic vaccines.
Methods: In this review, we summarized the human trials undergoing on HIV therapeutic vaccination
which are registered in the U.S. clinical trial database (clinicaltrials.gov). These attempts are divided
into different tables, according to the type of formulation and application in order to classify
and compare their results.
Result/Conclusion: Among several methods applied in studied clinical trials which are mainly divided
into DNA, Protein, Peptide, Viral vectors, and Dendritic cell-based vaccines, protein vaccine
strategy is based on Tat protein-induced anti-Tat Abs in 79% HIV patients. However, the studies
need to be continued to achieve a durable efficient immune response against HIV-1.