Since the discovery of HIV in 1983, medical research has made great strides against the virus. Today, there are more than 20 drugs that prevent the replication of HIV in the body. Most people can now live a long time with the virus if they receive the right treatment and care.
At the same time, no cure or vaccine for the virus has been found. The search for a vaccine has led to several disappointments in recent years. There are now some research approaches that offer hope of a future cure. It will, however, be a long time yet before HIV can really be cured and eliminated from the body.
Scientific research continues to develop new drugs to stop HIV reproducing in the body.
Another area of research is the development of microbicides. These are usually gels or suppositories which could apply to the vagina or the rectum to protect against HIV infection.