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AIDS experts go back to basics

March 26, 2008 at 11:09 PM

WASHINGTON, March 26 (UPI) -- The head of the U.S. agency in charge of AIDS research says scientists need to go back to basics to find a vaccine against the HIV virus.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the agency will re-evaluate the use of the $1.5 billion it spends on AIDS research, The New York Times reported Wednesday. He said more basic laboratory research is needed to understand the way the body and experimental vaccines respond to HIV.

"There is not an immediate solution to the problem," Fauci told the newspaper at a summit Tuesday in Bethesda, Md., to discuss fallout from last year's failure of the most promising candidate for an HIV vaccine.

Fauci rejected the AIDS Health Care Foundation's call for the suspension of money for HIV vaccine research in favor of increased AIDS prevention efforts. "Under no circumstances will we stop AIDS vaccine research," he said.

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