An HIV vaccine may be closer to becoming a reality. A team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a powerful antibody in the blood of an HIV patient that may hold clues on how to find an effective way to prevent the virus that causes AIDS.

Essentially, the antibody binds itself to certain cells, which prevents HIV from actually infecting cells. A potential treatment will still need to be tested and fully developed—which could take years—but the scientists are hopeful that the latest discovery could be the breakthrough they’ve been looking for in the fight against AIDS.