HIV 'cure' looks 'promising,' Danish scientists contend

HIV 'Cure' looks 'Promising,' danish scientists contend
They're working on human trials designed to make it easier to attack AIDS-causing virus, according to published reports.

(HealthDay)—Danish scientists testing a novel HIV treatment in human trials contend that they're confident their strategy will result in a cure for the AIDS-causing virus, according to news reports.

The technique—already tested successfully in lab experiments—involves freeing the from DNA cells, where it collects in "," and bringing it to the surface of the cells, the Telegraph in Great Britain reported. Once the virus has surfaced, it can be permanently destroyed by a "vaccine" that primes the body's natural , the researchers said.

"I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV," said Dr. Ole Sogaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, according to the news report. So far the are "promising," he said.

Human clinical trials are under way, said Sogaard, adding that early signs are "promising. I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV," he said.

Fifteen patients are currently taking part in the trials, and if they are found to have successfully been cured of HIV, the "cure" will be tested on a wider scale, the Telegraph reported.

"The challenge will be getting the patients' immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems," Sogaard said, the newspaper reported.

Sogaard said a "cure" is different than a preventative vaccine. That means continued awareness of unsafe behaviors—such as avoiding or sharing needles for intravenous drug use—is still the key to combating HIV.

If the Danish researchers are successful, it would obviously represent a huge step in the battle against HIV.

A large study of an experimental was halted recently because the shots weren't preventing infection, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said last week.

The clinical trial included about 2,500 people, mostly gay men, in 19 cities. Half of the participants were given the vaccine developed by the NIH and half received placebo shots. A safety review found that slightly more people who had received the vaccine later became infected with HIV. The reasons for this aren't clear.

While the vaccinations are being stopped, the NIH said it will continue to track the study participants' health, the Associated Press reported.

Numerous attempts to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine have failed.

More information: To learn more about HIV, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Related Stories

How HIV vaccine might have increased odds of infection

date Nov 03, 2008

In September 2007, a phase II HIV-1 vaccine trial was abruptly halted when researchers found that the vaccine may have promoted, rather than prevented, HIV infection. A new study by a team of researchers at the Montpellier ...

Scientists probe how some HIV patients resist AIDS

date Oct 01, 2012

(HealthDay)—Researchers who discovered an immune system mechanism that seems to provide some people with a natural defense against HIV say their finding could help efforts to develop a vaccine for HIV/AIDS.

Puzzling results from HIV vaccine trial

date Dec 03, 2007

A potential HIV vaccine that recently failed a clinical trial in the United States may increase some people's chance of catching the virus that causes AIDS.

Recommended for you

Research informs HIV treatment policy for inmates

date Apr 16, 2015

A national, five-year study of care for inmates with HIV brought strangers together, produced policy change in the Delaware Department of Corrections and documented the importance of good communication and ...

Six questions about HIV/AIDS that deserve more attention

date Apr 14, 2015

As HIV investigators work to control and eradicate the virus worldwide, certain myths or misconceptions about the disease have been embraced, whereas other concepts with merit have been left relatively unexplored, ...

Editing HIV out of our genome with CRISPR

date Apr 09, 2015

The virus that causes AIDS is an efficient and crafty retrovirus. Once HIV inserts its DNA into the genome of its host cells, it has a long incubation period, and can remain dormant and hidden for years. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.