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May 5, 1993

For AIDS Treatment, Vaccines, Now Think Genes

JAMA. 1993;269(17):2189-2193. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500170019004

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"FOR EVERY PROSPECT there are problems," says William Haseltine, MD, PhD, about the chances of having either an effective treatment or a vaccine for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by the turn of this century—or later.

Despite the many advances that have given scientists previously undreamed-of opportunities for intervention against the virus linked with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), Haseltine says, "We don't have the biological parts to get started on a 'Manhattan Project.' We are still in the discovery process. We don't have the knowledge we need to know that any of the possibilities are going to work."

The Harvard Medical School professor of pathology spoke at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Boston, Mass. An AIDS researcher since the syndrome was defined, Haseltine, who is also chief, Division of Human Retrovirology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, said, "Do you want