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Scientists create ‘breakthrough’ drug that can make HIV cells ‘self-destruct’

HIV cells ‘self-destruct’
This is what HIV looks like when it infects a cell

Scientists have claimed they have created a ‘breakthrough’ drug that can make HIV cells ‘self-destruct’ without harming the body.

The drug, which was added to test tubes containing the blood of 10 HIV patients, was found to decrease the viral load by 97%.

Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University said they used a peptide in the drug that could case several copies of the virus’ DNA to enter the infected cell, causing the cell to self-destruct.

‘With our approach,’ Loyter told Channel 2, ‘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.’

He added: ‘The drug enhances certain processes in the body during the spreading of the virus and that enhancement kills certain cells.’

It comes after British researchers have revealed the results of a recent HIV treatment trial run were very promising and could lead to a ‘full cure’.

The new treatment uses both conventional HIV treatments and a new drug that reactivates old HIV cells, and uses them to teach the body to attack HIV cells, similar to a vaccine.

There are treatments available for HIV currently, but none that cure the virus permanently.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) can significantly help prevent people from catching the virus if taken daily.

Even if the cure does work a treatment deriving will be a ‘long way’ off, says professor Sarah Fidler, a consultant physician at Imperial College.

 

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