Scientists continue to develop more powerful HIV treatments that have fewer side effects and fewer resistance problems. Some drugs under investigation block the HIV enzyme integrase from inserting viral DNA into the infected cell. Other drugs prevent HIV from binding with a CD4 cell in the first place, thereby barring HIV entry into cells.
Some scientists focus on ways to fortify the immune system. A biological molecule called interleukin-2 shows promise in boosting the immune systemís arsenal of infection-fighting cells. Interleukin-2 stimulates the production of CD4 cells. If enough CD4 cells can be created, they may trigger other immune cell responses that can overpower HIV infection
In other research, doctors hope to bolster the immune system with a vaccine. Most vaccines available today, including those that prevent measles or poliomyelitis, work by helping the body to create antibodies. Such vaccines mark specific infectious agents, such as the measles and polio viruses, for destruction. But many experts believe that an effective HIV vaccine will need to do more than just stimulate anti-HIV antibodies. Studies are underway to develop vaccines that also elevate the production of T cells in the immune system (New Hiv Drug, Hiv Aids Drug, Development of New Drugs). Scientists hope that this dual approach will prime the immune system to attack HIV as soon as it appears in the body, perhaps containing the virus before it spreads through the body in a way that natural immune defenses cannot. The genetic variability of HIV frustrates efforts to develop a vaccine: A vaccine effective against one type of HIV may not work on a virus that has undergone genetic mutation