Researchers in China found a cure that can control the virus and eliminated the infected cells. Until now, they have seen positive results in HIV positive mice. If the results will be the same in human trials, this could mean that there is a way to get protection from the virus and to use it to treat the infected people.
The study was led by Chen Zhiwei (the Hong Kong University), and it is published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The findings show that the team of researchers found a new HIV treatment which was used on mice. The mice received a different type of antibody which controlled the levels of the virus in their bodies.
However, the vaccine didn’t completely eliminate the virus, but it keeps it at very low levels – almost as if the mice were cured. The antibody acts like antiretroviral medications which a great majority of HIV positive people take. Treatment with antiretroviral medications can keep the viral numbers at a low level.
An Alternative to Daily Medication
What is great about the new vaccine is that it can be administered less frequently than the meds HIV positive people take daily.
The antibody vaccine could also eliminate a lot of HIV infected cells, fighting the infection.
A cure for HIV to be functionally working has to keep the viral levels so low that they cannot be detected virally. This means that the ability of a patient to pass the virus to another person is decreased.
Many other researchers have been working on finding a functional cure for HIV, but until now nothing is available to the public. This time, Chinese researchers hope that the antibody will be used in human trials in three-four years.
Andrew Chidgey, the chief executive of AIDS Concern, a charity group in Hong Kong, stated:
“Governments are being very slow to implement programmes here. So just because a treatment becomes available, doesn’t mean that people will get it, or that it will have an impact.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.