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Seattle researchers working on a HIV vaccine

There is currently no vaccine for HIV, but scientists in the Seattle area are hard at work trying to develop one.

Pre-clinical trials are showing promising results according to scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle.

Scientists say developing a HIV vaccine is a difficult task, but the good news is King County is a major player in vaccine research.  It’s the third largest urban area to reach the World Health Organization’s goal of what’s called 90-90-90 by the year 2020.

“So we have 90% of our infected people knowing they’re infected, and of those 90% that know they’re infected, we have 90% linked to care and engaging in taking anti-retroviral medication.  And of those 90% that are in care and taking drugs, 90% are virally suppressed,” says Dr. Bridget Fisher.

HIV does look different on everyone, and can also hide in different parts of the body.  The CIDR is testing what’s called a prophylactic vaccine.

"This allows the immune system to see the virus itself or components of the virus, generate an immune response. So if that person is ever exposed to HIV, they're better able to combat it and fight it off,” says Dr. Bridget Fisher.

While they’re no timeline for a HIV vaccine, researchers say they’re on the right track.