Researchers Claim to be able to Remove HIV from Cells

Researchers have achieved a significant breakthrough by eradicating HIV from infected cells through the use of Crispr gene-editing technology, which has been recognized with a Nobel Prize.

Operating at the molecular level, this technique functions like scissors to precisely remove or inactivate undesirable sections of DNA.

The ultimate goal is to completely eliminate the virus from the body, but further research is required to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

HIV medicines have the ability to halt the virus, but unfortunately, they are unable to completely eradicate it.

The University of Amsterdam team recently shared their early findings at a medical conference, emphasizing that their work is still in the early stages and should not be seen as a cure for HIV in the near future.

According to Dr. James Dixon, an associate professor specializing in stem-cell and gene-therapy technologies at the University of Nottingham, it is important to thoroughly examine the complete findings before drawing any conclusions.

“There is still much more work to be done in order to show that the results observed in these cell assays can be translated to the entire body for potential future therapies,” he stated.

“Further development is required before this could potentially benefit individuals living with HIV.”

‘Incredibly difficult’

Additional researchers are also exploring the application of Crispr in combating HIV.

Excision BioTherapeutics reports that three volunteers with HIV have experienced no significant side effects after 48 weeks.

According to Dr Jonathan Stoye, a virus expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London, eliminating HIV from all potential host cells in the body is a highly difficult task.

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“Concerns persist regarding potential off-target effects and long-term side effects of the treatment,” he stated.

“It appears that it will take quite a while before any Crispr-based therapy becomes a common practice – even if it proves to be effective.”

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) invades and targets cells of the immune system, effectively hijacking their internal processes to replicate.

Despite receiving effective treatment, certain individuals enter a dormant phase where they retain the DNA or genetic material of HIV, even if they are not actively generating new virus.

Long-term antiretroviral therapy is typically necessary for individuals living with HIV. If individuals cease using these medications, the inactive virus may become active once more, leading to recurring issues.

Some individuals have experienced a remarkable improvement in their condition, as intensive cancer treatment eliminated certain infected cells. However, it is important to note that this approach would not be advised as a standalone treatment for HIV.

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