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Scientists claim ‘breakthrough’ in HIV cure

Rosie West November 3, 2016
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Those who took part in the online programme had a lower incidence of STIs

A new drug supposedly sees HIV infected cells self-destruct without harming the body.

Scientists in Israel claim to be developing a new drug that will help “cure HIV”.

The drug was added to test tubes containing the blood of ten HIV patients and was found to decrease the viral load by a staggering 97% – although the results are yet to be officially confirmed.

The new drug’s main ingredient is a peptide and was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University.

The peptide allegedly causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, causing the cell to self-destruct.

“With our approach,” Loyter told Channel 2, “we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day, because there are no cells, there will be no cells that contain the virus.”

Loyter explained that “the drug enhances certain processes in the body during the spreading of the virus and that enhancement kills certain cells.”

Earlier this month, a similar claim to Dr Loyter’s was made in the UK, as scientists claimed to be on the brink of “curing” a HIV patient for the first time.

Currently, treatment for HIV in the UK costs £380,000 for one person’s lifetime.

In addition, a number of new treatments are being developed for the disease, including PrEP.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada can reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV by up to 99 percent, if taken daily.

The High Court recently overturned the NHS decision not to commission the HIV-preventing drugs.

 

Related topics: cure, HIV, LGBT, Truvada

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