The HIV vaccines will be using mRNA technology from the manufacturer’s successful COVID-19 jab rollout.
US pharmaceutical and biotech company Moderna, known for its COVID-19 vaccines, is expected to begin human trials for two HIV vaccines this week.
The trials are expected to begin as early as August 19 and last until May 2023, according to the US National Institute of Health’s clinical trial registry.
The vaccines will use mRNA technology in this revolutionary advancement to see if the mRNA technology will be effective in combating the virus.
Phase one of Moderna’s trials will include 56 adult participants aged between 18 to 50 years of age.
The aim of the first phase is to assess the safety of the vaccine and to chart how successful it is in attacking the HIV virus and producing antibodies.
Currently, there are various successful forms of treatments for HIV infection, the most commonly known is PrEP, however, an effective vaccine could be groundbreaking in how HIV is treated and viewed medically.
HIV has historically been difficult to treat due to its ability to quickly mutate. The virus is also known for the rate at which it attacks the body’s immune system making a person more susceptible to other illnesses.
Moderna’s vaccines, mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1574, will be fighting the virus by effectively neutralising antibodies in a way no other jabs have been unable to, according to The Independent.
“The mRNA platform makes it easy to develop vaccines against variants because it just requires an update to the coding sequences in the mRNA that code for the variant,” Rajesh Gandhi, MD, an infectious diseases physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and chair of the HIV Medicine Association, told the medical site Verywell in June.
There are believed to be at least 16 known variants of HIV due to the virus’s ability to mutate.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative says there are around 38 million people living with HIV/AIDS in 2020 and that $29 billion is needed to respond to HIV/AIDS by 2025.
News of Moderna’s experimental HIV vaccine is groundbreaking and signals a possible future with more effective methods of treating an epidemic that has raged for 40 years.