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Scientists hail 'potential cure for AIDS'

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM
  • 11 Replies
1 mom liked this

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-16/scientists-hail-potential-cure-for-aids/4466766

Scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research say they have made a breakthrough that could lead to a potential cure for AIDS.

Associate Professor David Harrich says they have discovered how to modify a protein in HIV so that, instead of replicating, it protects against the infection.

"I consider that this is fighting fire with fire," he said.

"What we've actually done is taken a normal virus protein that the virus needs to grow, and we've changed this protein, so that instead of assisting the virus, it actually impedes virus replication and does it quite strongly."

Associate Professor Harrich says the modified protein cannot cure HIV but it has protected human cells from AIDS in the laboratory.

"This therapy is potentially a cure for AIDS," he said.

"So it's not a cure for HIV infection, but it potentially could end the disease.

"So this protein present in immune cells would help to maintain a healthy immune system so patients can handle normal infections."

More than 30,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Australia.

If clinical trials are successful, one treatment could be effective enough to replace the multiple therapies they currently need.

"Drug therapy targets individual enzymes or proteins and they have one drug, one protein," Associate Professor Harrich said.

"They have to take two or three drugs, so this would be a single agent that essentially has the same effect.

"So in that respect, this is a world-first agent that's able to stop HIV with a single agent at multiple steps of the virus lifecycle."

He says the new treatment has the potential to make big improvements in the quality of life for those carrying HIV.

"I think what people are looking for is basically a means to go on and live happy and productive lives with as little intrusion as possible," he said.

"You either have to eliminate the virus infection or alternatively you have to eliminate the disease process and that's what this could do, potentially for a very long time."

Professor Harrich says animal trials are due to start this year and early indications are positive.

"This particular study is going to have some hurdles to jump through, but so far every test that we have put this protein through has passed with flying colours," he said.

"This particular year we're moving this into animal models, and based on the preliminary data we have done we expect that this will proceed really quickly."

The research is published in the journal Human Gene Therapy.


Basically this is saying that by changing the protein they have been able to prevent HIV from turning into AIDS. This is awesome and I wish it was all over the news.

by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM

 Thanks for sharing!

lancet98
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Ah....from my read of the article, it is kind of the same as we already have, but much more simply and cheaper.

I do know people who got diagnosed VERY early, got on medication immediately, and though they have the virus in their system, it can't make them sick.   They basically just continuously keep the virus from growing.

A well known celebrity recently was accused of 'giving aids to his partner' and 'not telling him', and his response was that his numbers were so low, that he 'didn't really give aids to his partner'.

Eh...depends on how you look at it.  He may not have AIDS, but say his partner gets HIV from him; his partner could still get AIDS.   His partner, if he doesn't know he has HIV, might not take the medication.

But this is not a cure.   The article title is wrong.   A person can still infect others, and others could get AIDS, if they don't take the same medication.

At least at this point, that's how I understand it.

MAYBE they think that eventually this medication could actually eliminate or actually kill the virus, I don't know.   But it's by no means a cure.   As far as I can tell, it is basically the same situation we have already, but with ONE drug, not a combination of drugs.   That means cheaper and more do-able and less complicated.   That's good, but it's not at this point, looking even like a 'potential' 'cure'.

It's really hard to kill retroviruses and combined viruses like the HIV virus.   Nasty virus, its basic structure actually protects it.

Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

 bump

pittawadda
by Bronze Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM
I agree the title is misleading. It isn't a cure. It doesn't stop it from transmitting.
I still find very interesting and a good leap forward.


Quoting lancet98:

Ah....from my read of the article, it is kind of the same as we already have, but much more simply and cheaper.


I do know people who got diagnosed VERY early, got on medication immediately, and though they have the virus in their system, it can't make them sick.   They basically just continuously keep the virus from growing.


A well known celebrity recently was accused of 'giving aids to his partner' and 'not telling him', and his response was that his numbers were so low, that he 'didn't really give aids to his partner'.


Eh...depends on how you look at it.  He may not have AIDS, but say his partner gets HIV from him; his partner could still get AIDS.   His partner, if he doesn't know he has HIV, might not take the medication.


But this is not a cure.   The article title is wrong.   A person can still infect others, and others could get AIDS, if they don't take the same medication.


At least at this point, that's how I understand it.


MAYBE they think that eventually this medication could actually eliminate or actually kill the virus, I don't know.   But it's by no means a cure.   As far as I can tell, it is basically the same situation we have already, but with ONE drug, not a combination of drugs.   That means cheaper and more do-able and less complicated.   That's good, but it's not at this point, looking even like a 'potential' 'cure'.


It's really hard to kill retroviruses and combined viruses like the HIV virus.   Nasty virus, its basic structure actually protects it.


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Allebas
by Bronze Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I sure HOPE if this new treatment makes it thru all of the red tape, that those infected will STILL be told you can infect other ppl so that they don't think OH GEE!! I can to screw whoever I want and not have to worry about infecting others!!! It is a good step forward, but still it is not a 'cure' from this horrid disease.

lancet98
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

 

Um.   Well....humans have fundamentally irresponsible sexual behavior.   Taken as a population, humans have NEVER altered their behavior significantly to even minimize the spread of STD's.

In the past, most STD's were even more dangerous than HIV/AIDS, and devastated whole populations, changed the course of wars and mightily hampered human development, and those STD's STILL were spread like mad.   Even when people understood how they were transmitted.   And yes, they understood how they were transmitted for a long time before they could treat them.

A FINE example is Syphilis.  

Quoting Allebas:

I sure HOPE if this new treatment makes it thru all of the red tape, that those infected will STILL be told you can infect other ppl so that they don't think OH GEE!! I can to screw whoever I want and not have to worry about infecting others!!! It is a good step forward, but still it is not a 'cure' from this horrid disease.


 

LindaClement
by Linda on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

And then there is the 'if they don't check the genetics of the strain, where the second HIV came from is speculation, not fact.'

Quoting lancet98:

Ah....from my read of the article, it is kind of the same as we already have, but much more simply and cheaper.

I do know people who got diagnosed VERY early, got on medication immediately, and though they have the virus in their system, it can't make them sick.   They basically just continuously keep the virus from growing.

A well known celebrity recently was accused of 'giving aids to his partner' and 'not telling him', and his response was that his numbers were so low, that he 'didn't really give aids to his partner'.

Eh...depends on how you look at it.  He may not have AIDS, but say his partner gets HIV from him; his partner could still get AIDS.   His partner, if he doesn't know he has HIV, might not take the medication.

But this is not a cure.   The article title is wrong.   A person can still infect others, and others could get AIDS, if they don't take the same medication.

At least at this point, that's how I understand it.

MAYBE they think that eventually this medication could actually eliminate or actually kill the virus, I don't know.   But it's by no means a cure.   As far as I can tell, it is basically the same situation we have already, but with ONE drug, not a combination of drugs.   That means cheaper and more do-able and less complicated.   That's good, but it's not at this point, looking even like a 'potential' 'cure'.

It's really hard to kill retroviruses and combined viruses like the HIV virus.   Nasty virus, its basic structure actually protects it.


Citygirlk
by Gold Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM
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Hopefully this will go somewhere and they won't silence him.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM
1 mom liked this
That would be great! Keep us posted if you hear that it's going to clinical trials :)
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kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM
1 mom liked this
I don't know how Australia works, but he probably has a better chance there than here, where the FDA blocks any real progress.

Quoting Citygirlk:

Hopefully this will go somewhere and they won't silence him.

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