Researchers take major step towards curing HIV
OMAHA, Nebraska (NBCNews/WOWT) – Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have taken a major step towards curing HIV.
UNMC announced Tuesday that researchers there, in cooperation a team at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, have “come up with a way to completely eliminate HIV infection in a special mouse model.”
For the first time, researchers say they have eliminated “replication-competent HIV-1 DNA, the virus responsible for AIDS, from the genomes of living animals,” according to a UNMC release.
“Our study shows that treatment to suppress HIV replication and gene editing therapy, when given sequentially, can eliminate HIV from cells and organs of infected animals,” said Dr. Kamel Khalili, who leads the LKSOM team.
Researchers say when the HIV cure is complete, patients would replace taking pills for the rest of their lives with two separate injections.
Now, researchers understand much more about the disease, but it could be two to three years before the cure is tested on humans, and even longer before the drug is ready for the general public.
Doctors say that could cost tens of millions of dollars to complete, but after that, the HIV cure would be affordable for those who need it.