UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Scientists have discovered a molecular “killing key” that can stop the multiplication of HIV-infected cells, a step closer to treating AIDS.
Life-long drug therapy can curb the virus that causes AIDS, but the virus can re-emerge if the patient stops using the drug.
Scientists from the California community in San Diego found a molecule with ribosomal DNA, which works to stop and turn on genes, and found that removing it from cells prevents HIV from returning.
The study found, in laboratory tests, a cell “key” can be stopped to remove the virus, which is hiding in the dormant inside the cells, and this is what makes them close to finding the “Holy Grail” to treat HIV.
“This is one of the main keys scientists have been seeking to find in HIV for three decades,” said Dr. Tarek Rana, lead researcher in the study.
At present, people living with HIV need lifelong treatment called antiretroviral therapy, to control symptoms and prevent transmission to AIDS.
But these current procedures are not a cure, as the virus remains “asleep” in the cells and is ready to start reproducing again if treatment is stopped.
Recent estimates indicate that 36.9 million people are infected with HIV and AIDS worldwide.
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