A new report from The Boston Globe issues that a number of advances in the fight against AIDS has been made and that although there is hope in sight, they still need a few “more tools” to work with in the goal to emancipate anyone with the disease. Read more below.

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Fenway Institute co-chairman and medical research director Dr. Kenneth H. Mayer wrote on Friday:

“It would seem that we have the tools we need to end the epidemic. Yet more than 1.5 million people around the globe become infected with HIV each year and another one million die of AIDS – we require better tools to fight AIDS. The need for new preventive technologies, in particular, is acute.”

Mayer cited two “emerging tools” against HIV and AIDS: easy-to-use preventative medication and new “advances” in the field of vaccine research. Also, current and upcoming studies related to both new tools.

Next week there will be an expo in Boston that will feature researchers presenting results of two major trials conducted in the Southern part of Africa, both of which testing a vaginal ring that comes with antiretroviral medication. The ring was inserted monthly in the trials, and can potentially simplify the process of women protecting themselves from HIV – all without their sexual partners wearing a condom.

According to Mayer:

“If these studies are shown to have been effective, making such rings readily available could have an enormous impact in reducing HIV transmission. The more we learn, the more optimistic researchers are about the feasibility of developing a safe and effective HIV vaccine.”

Mayer also announced new bioengineered antibodies that saw some encouraging results when tested on animals. One antibody, VRC01, will be analyzed in two trials kicking off next month, where over 4,000 high-risk men and women in several parts of the world will be recruited for the studies.

Mayer believes that the end of AIDS “is possible”, but researchers need to work hard on “innovative research” to stop the disease and the initial HIV virus that causes it.