Our objective is to identify and test novel intervention strategies for the prevention of HIV infection and/or for the therapeutic intervention in chronic HIV infection. Intervention of HIV infection is considered at two levels. For the prevention of new infection vaccine are tested for the induction of efficacious immunity against the virus. Correlates of protection are currently not known in the prevention of HIV infection although the first positive results from the RV144 vaccination trial may help to identify markers that contribute.
In chronic HIV infection the best results in preventing disease progression have been obtained with anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Therapeutic vaccination is being tested as an alternative. Vaccination boosted HIV-specific immune responses may help to control virus replication and limit virus transmission. This may stop the deterioration of the immune system that results from chronic infection.
In therapeutic vaccination the first positive results have been reported. Blood transcriptome analysis of experimental vaccine induced host responses will help to design novel intervention strategies that can be tested in preclinical models and in clinical trials.