HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, has spread widely throughout the globe. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the disease.
However, researchers aiming to end HIV/AIDS are optimistic about the clinical trials of three different HIV vaccines: HVTN 702, Imbokodo, and Mosaico.
In 2009, however, a vaccine called RV144 was found to lower the rate of HIV infections by about 30 percent, and it is the only HIV vaccine to date to have any effect against HIV. RV144 is actually the basis for the HVTN 702 clinical trial.
The Imbokodo vaccine is a “mosaic” vaccine, which means it uses vaccine parts that would cause immune responses against a range of HIV strains. The Mosaico vaccine mentioned earlier is based on this one, but it has a slightly different formula. Results from the Imbokodo clinical trial will come out in 2021 and the Mosaico clinical will come out in 2023. Imbokodo is currently being tested on women with a high risk of contracting HIV in southern Africa, and Mosiaco will reportedly recruit 3,800 gay men and transgender people for trials in the US.
While these trials could fail, scientists are very hopeful about using vaccines to fight against the spread of HIV. For now, pre-exposure prophylaxis (a daily pill that prevents HIV infection) and condoms exist to stop the virus from spreading, but public health officials say that people are not using them enough.
Hopefully, there will be an answer in the next couple of years.