A promising new HIV vaccine that experts have called “novel and potentially powerful” is set to begin human trials in 2019.

The vaccine is designed to target a vulnerable region of the virus, and has neutralised dozens of strains of HIV in experiments, according to HIV Plus.

In animal experiments with mice, guinea pigs and monkeys, vaccination generated antibodies against HIV that could provide protection from the virus.

Work on the vaccine has been led by researchers at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“NIH scientists have used their detailed knowledge of the structure of HIV to find an unusual site of vulnerability on the virus and design a novel and potentially powerful vaccine,” said NIAID director Anthony S Fauci.

“This elegant study is a potentially important step forward in the ongoing quest to develop a safe and effective HIV vaccine.”

After the promising results of laboratory trials, the new vaccine is expected to proceed to human testing in the second half of next year, once its safety for use is confirmed.

Researchers are working on increasing the potency and consistency of results of the vaccine.

Other potential HIV vaccines are also currently in clinical development.

Work towards a safe and effective vaccine has been underway since the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with the first clinical trial taking place in 1987.

Many trials of different experimental vaccines have been carried out since, and researchers hope the right one could one day end HIV.

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