A vaccine against HIV could be available as soon as 2021. There are in trials HVTN 702, Imbokodo and Mosaico.
The oldest ongoing HIV vaccine trial - known as HVTN 702 - was launched in South Africa in 2016. The second trial, of Imbokodo, began in five southern African nations in 2017. Imbokodo and Mosaico are very similar in formula and mosaic vaccines are expected to give broader coverage to different strains of HIV. Dr Susan Buchbinder, director of the Bridge HIV research program at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said this is 'perhaps one of the most optimistic moments we have been in'. HIV experts say a vaccine needs to be at least 50 per cent effective to be a 'game changer' in combating numbers of cases. HIV is treatable if caught early. Left untreated, however, HIV can develop into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
If one of the three vaccines currently being tested works science will be the winner. This comes more than three decades are hopes of an HIV vaccine were first raised in 1984. Researchers say they are "optimistic" about the future, as trials of three different vaccines are close to entering their final stages.