Following the success of their Covid-19 vaccine, drugs giant Moderna is taking mRNA technology forward in the fight against HIV.
In an investors announcement last week, Moderna announced a number of clinical trials launching in 2021 including seasonal flu, the Nipah virus, and HIV.
Research into HIV treatments has been running since at least 1987, but no vaccine has proved to be successful. Medication can give people with the virus an undetectable viral load, meaning it is almost impossible to transmit. And PrEP medication taken can stop you from catching the virus, but to date there is no way to stop it outright.
Thanks to funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Moderna is taking two viable candidates to trial.
HIV is a much more complex virus than Covid-19, and it will likely take several years before a successful vaccine is found.
HIV kills around 700,000 people a year around the world, many of whom are in less developed parts of the world where access to medication is difficult.