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The HIV Vaccine Is About To See The Light Of Day

The HIV Vaccine Is About To See The Light Of Day

HIV is a disease that makes scientists think and suffer nearly 37 million people around the world. This virus can hide at levels undetectable by the current treatment, however a patient can never be considered completely cured. But researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, however, believe that targeting a gene in the brain could remove the virus and make it vulnerable to the immune system and drugs. Explications!

Over the last 30 years, highly effective antiretroviral therapy has saved the lives of millions of people around the world, but HIV latency prevents the eradication of the virus in most infected patients. The main goal is to find a cure for HIV!

How does HIV work?

HIV infects a type of white blood cell in the body's immune system called an auxiliary T cell. These vital cells keep us healthy by fighting infections and diseases. HIV can not grow or reproduce. Instead, the virus attaches to a T-helper cell and merges with it. It then takes control of the cell's DNA, replicates inside the cell and releases more HIV into the blood, continuing the multiplication process.

In this way, HIV weakens the body's natural defenses and, over time, seriously damages the immune system. The speed with which the virus develops depends on the general health of a person, the delay after HIV diagnosis and initiation of antiretroviral therapy, and the consistency of treatment.

Even in patients who have undergone treatment and whose amount of the virus becomes undetectable in the blood, the latter hides in unpredictable body parts that the treatment does not reach. Thus the person remains a carrier of HIV that remains impossible to eliminate.

Researchers are trying to target a gene in the brain to remove the virus and make it vulnerable to the immune system and drugs.

Promising research encouraged by the public scene
The replication of the virus is controlled by a gene called Tat, which diverts the mechanisms of the cell and causes the production of copies of HIV. The immune system naturally combats this process, but only when Tat is "activated" and the virus actively replicates. When the gene is "disabled," HIV is dormant in the cell. The Tat gene has a random chance to be active or inactive at any time and can pass from one to the other spontaneously.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, led by Professor Jie Liang, say the misuse of the Tat gene could expose the virus to the immune system. It could also allow antiretroviral drugs to attack the hidden virus by forcing it out, using a method called shock and kill.

The results of this new research are promising and it is good to see a new HIV eradication mechanism under study. But it is important to emphasize that this is a very preliminary modeling that has not yet been transmitted to the laboratory.

Spokesperson of the Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK charity fighting HIV / AIDS, said that developments in treatment research are still interesting and welcome and that this new research gives a glimmer of hope to millions of people who suffer from this virus every day.

At the same time, in Bordeaux, the team of Professor Hervé Fleury, has filed a patent, a therapeutic HIV vaccine that should "cure" HIV-positive people as reported by our colleagues in South West. This great news adds to the many advances mentioned above and will lead in the coming months to a vaccine against AIDS. The research has never been closer to the goal, we will keep you informed as soon as this vaccine is available.
HIV Vaccine