HIV Cure is being worked on and in the meantime scientists and doctors have been working on various treatments to prolong the life of infected patients. Most of the modern-day retroviral therapies have done an effective job of turning HIV/AIDS into a chronic disease that can be treated with constant medication. But most of the cases have no cure, and as soon as the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) treatment is stopped, the viruses start spreading again and AIDS turns lethal.
— Matthew Hodson (@Matthew_Hodson) October 26, 2019
— General C_Mw2k (@GMw2k) October 28, 2019
None of the HIV treatment has been able to kill the virus so far and it turns inactive only to become dormant once the ART meds are discontinued. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has found a kill switch that can eliminate the HIV reservoirs completely and cure AIDS permanently.
Ways to Kill the Virus
In the mBio journal published by the researchers at UCSD, they were finally able to identify the kill switch which was being searched for nearly 3 decades in the field of HIV cure. Tariq Rana, the professor of pediatrics and genetics at UCSF said that the discovery has never been seen before and everyone in their team is very excited.
They have been able to prevent HIV recurrence in the T-cells by genetically modifying the noncoding RNA. It is also working after putting an end to the antiretroviral treatment, which is basically a way to completely eradicate HIV/AIDS very soon.
HEAL Removal for Curing HIV/AIDS
Rana and his research partners used genome-wide noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in special immune cells called macrophages which were already infected with HIV. The main focus was given to HIV-1 Enhanced LncRNA (HEAL) which is found in the maximum amount in HIV patients. The aim of the experiments was to disable the HEAL or remove it completely using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.
If the HEAL is eliminated then HIV and AIDS can also be treated. There have been more than 37 million infected from HIV and every year 1 million of them die due to the diseases. The kill switch treatment can be the biggest breakthrough if it is able to become a permanent cure for HIV/AIDS.