While currently, there is no cure for HIV, lifelong antiviral treatment controls the infection but often causes side effects including nausea, vomiting and insomnia. (Photo: Pixabay)
A new study now shows that scientists are edging closer to a long-term preventative HIV vaccine.
The research saw a single injection protected monkeys against a version of the virus for at least 18 weeks, suggesting it could offer people months of immunity, a study by Rockefeller University said.
People at high risk of becoming infected, such as those with HIV-positive partners, can take the preventative drug PrEP before sex, however, there is no long-term, effective jab.
Developing such a vaccine is difficult due to HIV 'hiding' from people's immune systems, however, including certain proteins in the injection cause immune cells to recognise parts of the 'envelope' that surround the virus, the research adds.
According to the researchers, their findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, 'lay the groundwork' for a preventative vaccine that could be given as little as once a year. It is unclear when it may be available.
While currently, there is no cure for HIV, lifelong antiviral treatment controls the infection but often causes side effects including nausea, vomiting and insomnia.
Despite HIV rates rising in Europe, figures released last July showed deaths linked to AIDS have halved in 10 years. AIDS is a syndrome that can occur in the late stages of HIV infection.