A renewed effort to find a vaccine for HIV has now begun. Whilst treatment for those who have contracted HIV is available, scientists in London, Rwanda and Nairobi hope to be the first to find the elusive vaccine. A trial in Thailand in 2009 has already found a combination of two vaccine prototypes that is 30% effective in HIV infection, and further trials are set to improve this statistic. Principle investigator of the latest study, Dr Jill Gilmour, believes “it’s not if, it’s when we will have an effective HIV vaccine.”

The research is still in its very early stages however, and whilst it is carried out preventing transmission is paramount. Jason Warriner, clinical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Although an HIV vaccine has so far remained stubbornly out of reach, we now understand how to prevent transmission better than ever before.

“A combination of widespread condom use, regular testing for HIV, and getting those with the virus onto the right treatment, could drastically reduce HIV within a generation.”

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