The search for an HIV vaccine has been fruitless thus far. The only candidate to reach advanced clinical trials — VaxGen's AIDSVAX — failed in both the United States and Thailand, but a third controversial trial will soon begin in Thailand. Creating a vaccine for HIV is challenging because different strains are prevalent in different parts of the world.
In this article, I-han Chou and K.S. Jayaraman report on efforts in India and Japan to develop HIV vaccines that are tailored to local strains of the virus.
Some scientists say that these vaccines have a better chance of success because they are designed for specific populations. But others are not as optimistic, saying that there is little reason to believe the current candidates will succeed.
Reference: Nature Medicine 10, 215 (2004)