It took 47 years to create a vaccine for polio after the microbe behind it was identified. The measles vaccine took 42 years. The hepatitis B vaccine was a positive sprint at 16 years. “Twenty-eight years isn’t an inordinate amount of time,” says [Anthony Fauci, an immunologist who heads NIAID].
HIV is one of the most elusive and quickly mutating viruses that we’ve found. Since vaccines rely on the body’s ability to recognize and inactivate a fairly constant region of the attacker, a vaccine for HIV has been the talk of pipe dreams.
Here’s an update on the closest we’ve come and why it almost worked, from a 2009 trial.