Back in the day, contracting HIV was almost like a death sentence simply because we did not fully understand the virus back then and did not know how to treat it. These days, the treatment of HIV is so good to the point where those who take their medicine regularly on schedule can pretty much lead normal lives.
However, obviously if there was a way to prevent HIV from being contracted in the first place, that would be ideal, and Moderna is now working towards that. The company has announced that they have begun their early-stage clinical trials for a HIV vaccine that would be based on mRNA, the same vaccine tech behind the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The idea behind the mRNA vaccine is that the company hopes it will induce a specific class of white blood cells known as B-cells, which will then turn into broadly neutralizing antibodies. According to Moderna, apparently these proteins are considered to be the goal of HIV vaccination.
To date, no HIV vaccine has successfully passed early clinical trials. Also, so far to date there hasn’t been a cure discovered yet for HIV. We have heard stories of a couple of people who have successfully recovered from HIV, but it has yet to become a mainstream cure that can be applied to other people who have the virus.