Denmark researchers say a “promising” breakthrough that could ultimately lead to a cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be very close, Medical Daily reported.
Just days after the announcement of a failed U.S. government study to develop a HIV vaccine, researchers from Aarhus University Hospital said they will be trying a “novel strategy” in humans with HIV – shown to be effective in lab tests.
The therapy involves cleansing HIV from the “reservoirs” it forms within DNA cells – forcing the virus to come to the DNA’s surface. There, the body’s immune system, in cooperation with a potential vaccine, can find the virus and destroy it.
According to Medical Daily, the therapy was found to be effective when utilizing human skin cells in the lab. Its success in the human body is still unknown, Aarhus researchers maintained.
"The challenge will be getting the patients' immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems," Dr. Soggard, a senior researcher in the department of infectious disease at Aarhus, said in a news conference.
The Aarhus study will be funded by the Danish Research Council and will involve 15 patients with HIV. The study doesn’t aim to prevent HIV or AIDS but ultimately to cure those already infected.