The HIV virus (yellow) infecting a human cell.

Few vaccines have been as complicated—and filled with false starts and crushed hopes—as the development of an HIV vaccine.

While antivirals help HIV-positive patients live longer and reduce viral transmission to virtually nil, these medications must be taken for life, and preventative medications like pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, need to be taken every day to be effective. Vaccines, even if they need boosters, would make prevention much easier.

In August, Moderna began human trials for two HIV vaccine candidates based on messenger RNA.

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Melody Shreiber
Melody Schreiber is a journalist and the editor of What We Didn't Expect: Personal Stories About Premature Birth.
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