Cure for HIV/AIDS research under the collaboration of North Carolina University (UNC), Emory University and Qura Therapeutics has found a huge breakthrough. UNC’s HIV Cure Center has discovered a method to reveal and reactivate latent cells, that could be paired with clearance strategies and purge the HIV reservoir to achieve a permanent cure.
Scientists at #UNC have found a new approach that is a major step toward a cure for HIV. Published in @nature, this @UNC_SOM effort still requires more research before testing can begin in humans but is considered a significant scientific development https://t.co/RRmDV3NinP
— UNC-Chapel Hill (@UNC) January 22, 2020
HIV NEWS: In progress toward an #HIVcure, @NIH-supported scientists reactivated resting immune cells that were latently infected with #HIV or its monkey relative in cells in blood and a variety of tissues in animals: https://t.co/BrAJzIVK42@UNC @EmoryUniversity pic.twitter.com/Hao60DZVGu
— NIAID News (@NIAIDNews) January 22, 2020
Dr. Ann Chahroudi and his team have already tested the method on humanized mouse models and SIV infected monkeys and achieved positive results. The next step involves finding a working cure for HIV and AIDS for humans without any kind of side-effects and need for continuous medicines.
Purging the HIV Reservoir for a Cure
HIV virus is difficult to completely remove from human blood cells as they form a latent reservoir that comes back once antiretroviral therapy (ART) meds are stopped. The human immune system can’t detect the virus in its latent form and hence it can’t attack HIV in that stage.
HIV infected people are treated with ART treatment which only suppresses the virus over a limited time and doesn’t work as a permanent cure. The aim of UNC research is to find a way to detect the latent HIV reservoir and implement proper measures that purge it out completely from human blood cells.
Permanent HIV Cure will be Out Soon
Dr. Chahroudi has said that the next steps in the research include combining the virus latency-reversing strategies with methods to immune the response against the affected HIV cells. The treatment to reactivate the virus in animals and then remove it completely is already achieving success.
UNC researchers are now working to make some sort of chemical drugs that can treat the latent cells in human beings. It means that a permanent cure for HIV and AIDS for humans is very near and we hope that it will be out soon.