The trial - PrEPVacc - seeks to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a number of vaccine components versus a placebo to prevent HIV infection. The study would enrol a minimum of 1668 eligible adults aged 18 to 40 through collaborating clinical research centres in four countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.
Asked how significant the trials are for the country, SAMRC president and chief executive Professor Glenda Gray said: “All the countries taking part in PrEPVacc are committed to reducing and ultimately stopping all new HIV infections, and a successful HIV vaccine is crucial for prevention.
“PrEPVacc is a very efficient way of doing an HIV-prevention trial - it’s actually testing two different ways of preventing HIV at the same time. There are the two different vaccine combinations being trialled and a preventive oral medicine known as PrEP that participants will be offered.
“We’re also testing whether a new oral form of the drug Descovy is equivalent or more effective than the existing standard one known as Truvada.