Moderna launched a clinical study for an HIV mRNA vaccine in August 2021, on 56 HIV-negative people aged 18 to 50.

AIDS is a highly contagious disease. In 2020, the United Nations estimates that 37.7 million people would be living with HIV around the world. However, there is currently no treatment for AIDS in modern medicine. The patient will carry the sickness for the rest of its life if infected. Moderna initiated a human clinical study of an HIV vaccine based on the mRNA technology platform on August 19, local time, according to the most recent information published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial research registration, which is Phase I trial expected to end in the spring of 2023. Moderna currently has two HIV vaccine candidates, mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1644v2-Core, both of which have been tested for safety prior to use in human trials.

There has been no significant breakthrough in HIV vaccinations for many years, despite repeated attempts by several companies. Ultimately, nearly no vaccine has exhibited trial results that are even close to moderate effectiveness.

One of the first licensed mRNA vaccines is the COVID-19 vaccine, jointly developed by Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech. The University of Texas at San Antonio, George Washington University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Emory University are known to be collaborating institutions for human trials of Moderna's HIV vaccines, which will be conducted on the same mRNA platform ( as the first COVID-19 vaccine to further evaluate the safety and immunogenicity.

HIV has evolved into various forms over the years. mRNA technology may have advantages over other HIV vaccine discoveries due to its ease of modification. Based on the effectiveness of mRNA technology in preventing COVID-19, the potential to develop vaccines against other infections, such as HIV and influenza, will be revolutionized.
Apart from the easily modifiable nature of mRNA(, other types of vaccine technologies usually use inactive viruses, or in some cases even active viruses, and then stimulate the body to produce an immune response by fusing molecules of the target virus using other, less dangerous viruses as vectors. Since mRNA vaccines do not contain any part of the virus, the corresponding risks can also be avoided.

As it stands, one downside of mRNA vaccines is that mRNA does not stay long, and vaccines must be stored in a cold environment to avoid deterioration. The COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, must be kept at a temperature of around -70 degrees Fahrenheit for preservation, which necessitates the use of specialist refrigeration and shipping equipment. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, while less temperature-sensitive, nevertheless requires storage at temperatures between 2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's vital to remember, though, that HIV is not the same as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects respiratory cells, whereas HIV attacks the patient's T cells, which are immunological cells that fight viruses and other infections. Although mRNA technology has the potential to develop an HIV vaccine, only clinical trials can confirm its efficacy.

Moderna will conduct Phase II and Phase III trials to establish the vaccines' effectiveness in preventing HIV infection in a larger population if Phase I clinical trial passes.

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