New research has promised to improve the immune response to the HIV caused infection in the human body. The ultimate solution to eradicate this fatal disease is still under consideration. However, research has come a long way to discover the HIV cure. In fact, this could ultimately lead to the prevention of the infection caused by the HIV virus. The intensity of the infection weakens the immune system. This subsequently gives rise to deadly symptoms. The disease commonly spreads through drugs, needles, sexual intercourse and transmission of virus from mother to child.
The first attempt to formulate the HIV cure took place when the HIV virus was discovered in 1983. Scientists worked towards the initial viral suppression as a means to attain an immediate cure. However, this continued to be life-threatening as the process did not address the complete destruction of the virus and its symptoms.
Scientific advances in HIV cure
Recent studies have delivered positive results to the transmission of the infection from the mother to her child by suppressing viral load. Although researchers have not discovered a permanent solution to cure HIV caused Infections, they believed to have discovered a successful trial. The successful HIV cure trials prove to show a vaccine efficacy of 30%. Whereas, the ideal vaccine efficacy would have to be 70 to 80% in order to effectively aid the HIV cure. Professor Sharon Lewin, the Director at Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia, states that fighting an infection either requires the creation of an antibody or the recognition of the virus by the T-cells. Studies prove to enable ‘supercharged’ antibodies to protect monkeys from the infection. This is a positive step taken towards the HIV cure, as scientists conduct similar studies in humans.
India’s population has a low count of the HIV virus despite the large prevalence of the infection. India has come a long way to effectively contain the virus. However, studies prove that it requires a series of testing and treatment to tackle the virus. In fact, only 60% of the infected population is aware of the prevalence of an infectious virus in their body. According to the professor, 40% of Indian population does not have access to anti-viral drugs which are produced in abundance. Science has ensured promising advances towards developing the use of cancer drugs towards HIV cure.
Tackling the latent HIV.
In the United States, the majority of the infected population are unaware of their diagnosis. Researchers have, therefore, developed a method to destroy the latent HIV that can hide inside a human host for several years. Anti-retro viral therapies, that aim to suppress the HIV content in the system can control this. The drugs are induced to stop the production of actively-replicating viruses, allowing the infected person to reduce chances of suffering. However, this process fails to address the problem of latent HIV present inside the cellular reservoirs. Therefore, it is crucial to work against the sudden production of the latent HIV that becomes active after several years.
The Kick and Kill Method:
Recent strategies include the ‘Kick and kill’ method that transforms the latent virus to active ones. Scientists are still probing methods to destroy the active viruses which tend to head cell membranes where it reproduces. One such popular strategy is by making use of L-HIPPO. This newly synthesized compound prevents the movement and reproduction of the HIV virus. This process leaves the virus trapped inside the infected cell. The infected cells thus, go through a process of ‘apoptosis’, which discards the cells along with dead HIV virus cells. Studies believe that the two leading strategies could lead to the ultimate HIV cure. With a little more improvement in research of drugs and the L-HIPPO strategy, this proves to be a promising step to eradicate infections caused by the HIV virus.