The fight against HIV might just have a new weapon in its armory in the near future.
Scientists announced at the International AIDS Conference, which has been ongoing since July 18 and wraps up on July 22, that they will attempt to vaccinate 5,400 people across South Africa against HIV in November.
This isn’t the first time a vaccine for the virus – which, if left untreated, can lead to AIDS – has been trialed. Last year, 259 volunteers were given the vaccination and a small trial also took place in Thailand in 2009.
According to reports, the Thai trial gave 60% protection after one year, but that fell to 31% by the end of the trial.
Speaking about the trial, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said “the obvious question is this: can we now replicate those [successful] results and can we improve upon them with grater breadth, depth and potency?”
Scientists hope that if the trial will be successful it will allow regulators and manufacturers to have the confidence needed to take the breakthrough, which is intended to be used with condoms, PrEP and other forms of protection, further.
36.9 million people are currently living with HIV worldwide. Although the virus is manageable when properly treated, late diagnosis and lack of access to medication can cause life-shortening complications.
If you’re worried about HIV, get in touch with the Terrence Higgins Trust