PrEP no more: Will there be a vaccine for HIV/AIDS?

Science and Health

Further progress has been recorded in the fight against AIDS. GSK reported that it had completed its phase one trial of a new drug to prevent HIV infection, which will be given as part of the PrEP protocol, and may replace the need to take pills on a daily basis.

About 9,000 HIV carriers live in Israel. Every year, around 450 new infected people are registered on the list. PrEP treatments, which have been in use both in Israel and abroad for over a decade, have significantly reduced the rate of HIV infection, especially among members of the LGBTQ+ community.

These are pills that contain antiviral drugs that prevent the replication of AIDS and that must be taken daily. However, some users do not take the pills on a regular basis, which results in the virus developing.

Available vaccinations 

Approximately two years ago, the first injection to prevent the HIV infection was approved in countries including Israel. It is given once a month. Last year, the Health Ministry approved a new injection that is administered once every two months. Now the pharmaceutical company GSK announced the results of a new injection, which prevents infection with the virus, and will be taken only once in every four months.

A phase one clinical study of the new injection showed that it is safe and has a “half-life.” That is, the length of time it survives in the body is four months, as expected. The company estimates that they will finish the two additional phases of the clinical trials within a year or so, and that if results continue to be positive, the vaccine can be marketed in 2026.