New Study Puts Us Closer To HIV Cure

 

HIV AIDS words and needleThere’s more hope in the future for curing HIV.

A new study found that an experimental HIV vaccine coupled with an immune system-stimulating compound showed signs for a cure.

Using monkeys with a virus equivalent to human’s HIV, the combination of the vaccine and compound reduced the virus to undetectable levels without antiretroviral treatments, according to Huffington Post.

Unlike antiretroviral treatment, which keeps HIV at low levels in the body, this vaccine and immune system compound could actually lead to a cure.

Lead study investigator, Dan Barouch, infected 36 monkeys with a virus similar to HIV. Then, he gave the monkeys an antiretroviral treatment to suppress virus levels.

After six months, the virus rebounded in some of the monkeys. But for the monkeys that were given the vaccine and immune system compound, it took 2.5 times longer for the virus to return.

“If all the animals went undetectable in the absence of [antiretroviral treatment], that would have been a home run,” said Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research. “I would say that what we achieved was a solid base hit, and it’s something that we can work from.”

To date, there is no cure for HIV. However, HIV-positive patients are able to live longer, healthier lives than ever before with the use of…