Pos­si­bil­ity of killing off HIV virus and AIDS

The Sun (Malaysia) - - GOOD VIBES -

RESEACHERS in Is­rael have iden­ti­fied a pro­tein they claim can re­duce the HIV virus in in­fected pa­tients by 97% in just eight days, ac­cord­ing to the Times of Is­rael.

The find­ings raise hopes for suf­fer­ers of a dis­ease that killed more than a mil­lion peo­ple glob­ally in 2015.

The HIV virus at­tacks a type of white blood cell known as a CD4, which is used by the body to fight off ill­nesses like flu.

The virus uses the in­ter­nal ma­chin­ery of these cells to ef­fec­tively take it over and make more and more copies of it­self, de­stroy­ing CD4s in the process.

Once a suf­ferer’s CD4 cells fall below 200 per cu­bic mil­lime­tre of blood, they are con­sid­ered to have pro­gressed to AIDS.

Sci­en­tists at Jerusalem’s He­brew Univer­sity in­serted the new drug into test tubes con­tain­ing the blood of 10 AIDS pa­tients. The ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, called Gammora, caused sev­eral copies of the virus’ DNA to en­ter an in­fected CD4 cell, in­stead of the usual one or two.

This caused the dam­aged white blood cell to go into over­drive and

self-destruct, leav­ing it un­able to spread the virus any fur­ther.

Tests will con­tinue amid hopes that Gammora will soon be able to kill all the in­fected HIV cells.

Abra­ham Loyter, who helped de­velop the drug, said: “With our ap­proach we are de­stroy­ing the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day.

“Be­cause there are no cells, there will be no cells that con­tain the virus.” – The In­de­pen­dent

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