A New Approach to Treating HIV Is on the Horizon

HIV claims 1.8 million lives in a year worldwide. It has even climbed the ranks to become the third leading killer in developing countries. Today, a series of failed medical studies seem to dim the hope of ever finding a cure for the ever potent killer virus.

However, these grim statistics could be change in the near future. A recent study published in the Blood, a popular science and research journal, unveils a never-tested before approach to combating HIV. Led by a pack of top scientists from two top institutions, the study offers an absolutely new approach to treating HIV.

A reversed way of dealing with the virus

Under the normal situation, the response to HIV infection by the body’s innate immunity system is by releasing white cells to fight the intruder. Unfortunately, this is a flawed response and defense as far as HIV is concerned, as the virus is able to tear apart the cells’ membrane and in return infect them.

The new study, however, reveals that an alternative is possible. A defensive reaction in which cholesterol is harvested from the virus is suggested to become a much better way to fight HIV infection. Top researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Imperial College London argue that the new approach would make the virus permeable. When this becomes possible, bodily defense cells will find it easy to fight the exposed virus.

At the moment, the idea hasn’t yet been backed up by trials. So now scientists will have to get to work and find an exact way of ridding HIV of its cholesterol, leaving the virus vulnerable to the potency of white cells.

What the new approach means in the fight against HIV

Obviously it is too early for any celebrations yet. However, there is a glimmer of hope that an effective cure for HIV will be developed within years. If the new approach proves viable, HIV mortality will be marginally reduced. Moreover, such a breakthrough would change how researchers and experts approach other so far incurable diseases. This will open a flood gate of studies aimed at diseases that researchers are yet to find cure for.

Without a doubt, there is still a long way to go before the findings of this study result in an available treatment. However, early indications show that the new approach has the potential to produce remarkable results. In fact, this study continues to receive nods of approval from many scientists around the world. Hopefully, just after a few years, we’ll be able to celebrate one less incurable disease.