HIV vaccine that transforms cell DNA brings fresh hope
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California have altered the DNA of monkeys to give their cells HIV-fighting properties. This technique uses gene therapy to introduce a new section of DNA inside healthy muscle cells. That strip of DNA contains the instructions for manufacturing the tools to neutralise HIV, which are then constantly pumped out into the bloodstream. Experiments, showed the monkeys were protected from all types of HIV for at least 34 weeks.
The "kick and kill" method trialed in the study involves drugs called HDAC inhibitors, which have traditionally been used to combat cancer. These drugs activate the dormant HIV (the "kick") which can then be attacked by the ART drugs (the "kill"), while at the same time, the body's immune system is boosted by an HIV vaccine. The hope of the multi-pronged attack is that it can completely eliminate, not just knock back, the HIV infection in patients.
How a cat virus could lead to an HIV vaccine. University of Florida. Blood from people infected with HIV shows an immune response against a cat AIDS virus protein, a finding that may help scientists find a way to develop a human HIV vaccine.
Give healthy gay men anti-viral drugs to 'slash HIV cases'. Pre-exposure to the drug Truvada reduce risk of HIV infection in men who have sex with men by as much as 86 per cent, English study found First study of its kind to show the treatment works in healthy people Previous research had indicated treatment such as this might cut HIV rates But it was unclear whether such an approach would work in practice.