HIV cure for humans is still being worked on but in the meantime, Scientists have found a method that can effectively remove the virus from the experimental mice. In the latest research paper by Nature Communications, the researchers have developed a two-stage process on the mouse model of human HIV.
— Popular Science (@PopSci) September 30, 2019
The first step is the Laser therapy combined with antiretroviral therapy over a slow and effective process. The second part of the treatment includes the removal of DNA containing the virus through a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9. Kamel Khalili, the co-senior study author of the paper has said that both the steps are necessary to cure HIV/AIDS and if only one of them is followed, the virus always comes back.
ART Therapy can’t kill HIV, it just goes Dormant
HIV weakens the immune system of a human body and if treatment is not provided on time, it turns into AIDS where patients generally don’t survive for more than 3 years without any higher form of treatment. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens the CD4 and T helper cells (a type of white blood cell) which protects our bodies against any type of infection.
Scientists have come up with antiretroviral (ART) therapy which is a combination of several useful to prolong human life once it’s infected by HIV. But the drawback is that ART doesn’t kill the virus, it just goes into a dormant stage and regenerates once again when a patient stops taking the medicine.
HIV/AIDS Cure by LASER Therapy and Gene Editing
In the recent case where the researchers removed the virus from mice, they used antiretroviral therapy combined with LASER which uses a different method, needs fewer doses and has a longer effect. Professor Kamel Khalili developed the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool to remove the HIV genes from the DNA combined with the LASER antiretroviral therapy and the combination worked successfully in one-third of the cases.
— Scaresinfo Africa (@scaresinfo) July 5, 2019
The study shows that the HIV suppression treatment and gene editing therapy given sequentially was able to completely eliminate the virus from the infected animals. Prof. Khalili says now they can clearly test the method on other animals and very soon on real humans.