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US: Researchers successfully destroy HIV in human cells

Katie Dupere July 24, 2014

Temple University researchers in Philadelphia have destroyed HIV in human cells during laboratory tests.

The Pennsylvania team is using a type of gene surgery that uses scissor-like molecular tools to hunt down and snip out HIV in cells.

Lead researcher Dr Kamel Khalili told CBS Philly: “It’s an important finding because for the first time in laboratory setting we show that the virus can be eradicated from human cell culture.”

Though the process did not work on every cell during the trial, the team is hopeful the discovery could eventually replace current HIV treatments with more development.

Current treatment for HIV and AIDS is focused on minimising effects of the disease, not destroying it.

The team’s next step is to move the discovery from the lab into animals. From there, clinical trials on people living with HIV would take place.

There is not a time frame for when the discovery could hit clinical trials.

Earlier this month, a Mississippi toddler believed to have been cured of HIV shortly after birth was found to have detectable levels of the virus once again. 

A study released earlier this week reported HIV-positive people are far less likely to die from AIDS-related causes than they were a decade ago.

More: Americas, Bisexual men, gay and bisexual men, gay men, HIV, hiv infection, hiv testing, hiv transmission, HIV-prevention, men who have sex with men, MSM, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US

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