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Hello, my name is Patricia Fast.
I'm a pediatrician who's worked for about 20 years on AIDS vaccines,
trying to develop an AIDS vaccine.
Currently I'm Senior Technical Advisor for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative,
which is a non-profit dedicated to the proposition that the world needs an AIDS vaccine,
and I also teach part-time as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Stanford University.
As soon as the new lentivirus,
HIV-1 was discovered in 1984 as the cause of AIDS,
there was great hope that a vaccine would soon be discovered.
You probably know that lentiviruses are RNA viruses that insert
a copy of their genome into the host genome as a way of replicating.
There are two HIV viruses,
HIV-1 and -2, most of the research has been done on HIV-1,
and I'll generally call it in this lecture, HIV.
The discovery soon afterward of
a related lentivirus that cause AIDS in non-human primates,
macaque monkeys, focused attention on this Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, or SIV model.
Much later it became evident that focusing on the dominant model,
which was a strain of SIV called Mac 239 in rhesus macaques,
lead to a bias in the research because SIV 239 is almost impossible to neutralize.
So it tended to minimize the importance of neutralizing antibodies,
but we'll come back to that.
Eventually, a hybrid virus was constructed between HIV and SIV, it's called SHIV,
and rhesus monkeys could then be infected with a virus that carries
the HIV envelope or the major protein on the surface of HIV,
which it uses to access cells.
That allowed research into the importance of neutralizing antibodies.
A little bit of work was originally done in chimpanzees,
which can be infected with HIV but seldom
become ill. Antibodies were shown to prevent infection,
but because chimpanzees are a protected species,
the model was abandoned.