Scientists in South Africa are to kick off the nation’s largest and most advanced human trial for an HIV vaccine, with results expected in 2020.

With 1,000 people being infected with the virus every day, the study is expected to have greater results than the RV144 trial in Thailand 7 years ago. The trials were conducted on 16,000 people with a meager 31% success rate. They did, however, manage to prove that HIV prevention was possible.

The current vaccine study, called the HVTN 702 trials, have enrolled over 5,400 men and women infected with HIV. HVTN 702 begins just months after interim results were reported for HVTN 100, its predecessor clinical trial, which found that the new vaccine regimen was safe for the 252 study participants and induced comparable immune responses to those reported in RV144.

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“If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a co-funder of the trial. “Even a moderately effective vaccine would significantly decrease the burden of HIV disease over time in countries and populations with high rates of HIV infection, such as South Africa.”

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