HIV Cure May Be On The Horizon

According to Danish researchers, a new HIV treatment might be ready for human trials. The potential cure has already proved to be effective on infected human skin cells. The next step is to test the treatment on human patients.

The new therapy will involve flushing out the virus from the “reservoirs” inside DNA cells. Once the virus is on the DNA’s surface, the body’s immune system, with the aide of a vaccine, will find and destroy it.

“The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it,” Dr. Soggard, a senior researcher in the department of infectious disease at Aarhus University Hospital, said. “This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”
What remains to be seen is how effective this new treatment will be.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    I can’t wait for that day the cure is perfected! What on earth are the backward conservative right wingers going to crab and cry about then??!

  • tardis

    This is amazing. I’m curious as to the changes it will bring. With the advancements in HIV drugs out there that prolongs life in people, there’s been somewhat of a lack of awareness and attitude regarding HIV today. That’s a little scary. So now, we get a cure, are humans going to keep making foolish decisions or better educated ones? Whatever the case may be, a cure is always a good thing. This is good news, but still I wonder.

  • Scribe38

    I hope it is safe, and real, better late than never.

  • dan20791

    “The new therapy will involve flushing out the virus from the “reservoirs” inside DNA cells”

    DNA is not a cell…..

  • Brian

    HIV does not cause AIDS. Talk of a cure is pointless. This proposed ‘cure’ is more about scientists making ridiculous claims so as to get more funding to keep themselves employed.

    Besides, if they can’t find a cure for viruses such as the flu virus, what makes you think they can find a cure for HIV? It’s pie in the sky.

  • Jake

    @Brian: they didn’t say they are finding a cure they said they found a vaccine, which is totally different. Vaccines prevent viruses from entering the body and infecting it, while cures get rid of a disease already affecting the body. Since HIV is a virus this “cure” will prevent it from infecting a person. Its like getting a polio vaccine or a chickenpox vaccine, it prevents you from getting it.

  • DonW

    @Brian: Oh, HIV doesn’t cause AIDS? Hasn’t that absurd conspiracy cult died out yet? I guess you also believe the moon landing never really took place and that Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim and the Antichrist.

  • Lucre

    @Brian: “The study doesn’t aim to prevent HIV or AIDS but ultimately to cure those already infected.”

    Last line of the article. It isn’t a vaccine, it is actually a cure.

  • viveutvivas

    Well, the second part of the “cure” is not even nearly close, since it presupposes the existence of an effective vaccine, which does not exist.

  • Kikjou

    The article cites from FoxNews and Fox is not known for their understanding of science. Hence the rather clueless term “DNA cells”. Following is an explanation of what the scientists propose.

    Retroviruses become part of the cell DNA and remain silent for years. At some point, however, a trigger can make them become “active” and the cell machinery starts making new viruses (replicating). A good example is herpes virus, which is mostly inactive in the cells of your lips and becomes active in some cases when you are under stress.

    When an HI virus is inactive, meaning, it is integrated in the cell DNA but not replicating, it is no longer detectable and a person’s viral load is zero. But the virus is still there, waiting. So the idea of the Danish researchers is to force the cell to make the HIV DNA active. This changes the properties of the cell, in particular its outside-facing parts. And then the immune system, if properly prepared, can detect this change and kill the cell.

    This is the theory. In practice however, activating parts of the cellular DNA that are normally inactive is a double-edged sword. Because the “trigger” the scientists propose is not specific to HIV and will undoubtedly also activate other genes. Some of these other genes might better be left inactive.

    So far, the tests have only be done in isolated skin cells in a petri dish. It needs to be seen what side effect this treatment has on a human being. If successful, this therapy has the potential to kill HIV-bearing cells and hence “deplete the HIV reservoir”.

    @ Brian: HIV does cause AIDS, the scientific evidence it overwhelming. Maybe you are unable to read it, but that does not mean that it is not true. As to the other deadly virus you mention, the influenza virus: Unlike HIV, the flu virus does not integrate with the cell DNA and hence poses no lifelong risk to the infected person.

  • Cowboy_About_Town

    Sangamo Bioscience has a gene therapy based approach now in Phase 2 trials.

    Sangamo’s therapeutic approach aims to use ZFN-mediated gene editing technology to replicate a naturally occurring human mutation which renders individuals largely resistant to infection with the most common strain of HIV. CCR5 is a co-receptor for HIV entry into T-cells and, if CCR5 is not expressed on their surface, HIV infects them with lower efficiency.

    To me the Sangamo approach is mimic the CCR5-delta32 mutation in people who are naturally resistant to hiv1. Let’s keep an eye on Sangamo Bioscience and the progress being made toward a cure.

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