New Hope For HIV Cure

Scientists have used “genetic scissors” to remove the HIV ancestor virus from monkeys. This could be a big step towards finding a cure for HIV in humans. Scientists were able to completely eradicate the SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) from cells and tissues in monkeys.

This success might mean that a similar method could be used to get rid of HIV in humans. Researchers are recruiting human patients for the first safety trial of the treatment called EBT-001. This treatment is being done by a company called Excision Biotherapeutics. 

HIV comes from a virus called SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) that moved from monkeys to humans. HIV is difficult to eradicate because it becomes part of the infected person's DNA and uses its cells to make copies of itself. In a recent study, scientists from Temple University in Philadelphia used a special tool called CRISPR genome-editing technique to cut out the virus from the monkeys' cells.

The treatment was given to monkeys using a virus similar to the one that causes a common cold. They did this with just a single injection. The treatment worked well and removed the SIV virus from the monkeys' genes, and there were no side effects. According to recent statistics, around 106,890 people have HIV in the UK. Almost 3,000 new cases are found each year. The treatments we have now keep the virus under control, but they can't eradicate it completely.

Scientists say this new discovery is great not only for HIV but also for other viruses that hide in the body and are hard to get rid of. Only a few people have been completely cured of these kinds of viruses. This is not only a big achievement for the people dealing with HIV. It also helps make progress in developing treatments for other diseases like herpes and hepatitis B.

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