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Effective drugs are now available to treat AIDS, but they treat the infection at great expense and with great difficulty. It is the development of a safe and effective vaccine that is needed to prevent AIDS from progressing at a relentless pace.

But HIV, the unquestionable cause of AIDS, has evolved to elude antibody killing, thwarting attempts to induce a broadly protective antibody response, even in animals.

Progress on the vaccine front is inevitably slow, because it takes time to know whether a trial has been successful. But we ought to make every effort to provide the leadership and vision to ensure that this inevitably protracted process will proceed at the fastest possible pace.

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Reference: Science 296, 2297 (2002)

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