ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — As millions of people around the world are infected with HIV, a Rockville company believes it might be close to finding a cure.

American Gene Technologies got the green light by the Food and Drug Administration to begin phase one trials starting with six infected people. The company uses technology and a cell treatment therapy to develop a system that is supposed to work on HIV patients who have been on medication to control the virus for at least three years.

Once trials begin it will take nine months to determine if the company’s method actually works. Health officials say nearly 38 million people have been infected with HIV and over one million people in the United States are currently living with the disease. Maryland ranks fifth of all U.S. States in HIV diagnosis rates, with nearly 1,000 new cases in 2018 alone, according to the Maryland State Department of Health.

“Our scientific team has very high confidence that this has the potency to give HIV infected individuals a functional cure and the critical thing that’s happened right now is that the FDA is allowing us to do a trial,” said Jeff Galvin, American Gene Technologies, CEO.

Trials will start next month in Baltimore.