Scientists have discovered a breakthrough that could produce a potential cure for AIDS.
Professionals from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research have reportedly found a way to modify the protein in HIV that protects against infection instead of replicate it, according to Associate Professor David Harrich.
"I consider that this is fighting fire with fire," Harrich tells Australia's ABC News. "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."
He says that it cannot cure the virus but has protected human cells from AIDS in the lab. It would help maintain a healthy immune system in patients that can handle normal infections.
If clinical trials are successful, one round of therapy may be enough to eliminate the other alternative methods in use.
"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."
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