Breakthrough as scientists close in on cure for HIV
A cure for HIV has moved a step closer after scientists proved they can snip away the virus from infected cells, a procedure they hope will stop the virus returning.
The virus attacks and kills immune cells, leaving patients highly vulnerable to other infections. But US scientists have shown it is possible to use state-of-the-art genetic editing technology to cut away the virus from the DNA of cells.
Researchers at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University shut down the virus and eliminated it from the tissues of mice which had been transplanted with human immune cells and infected with HIV.
Antiretroviral drugs are now very good at controlling infection but patients need to be on medication for life and if they stop taking treatment the virus replicates rapidly, eventually causing acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).