To date, there is no cure for patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. However, the latest research for the disease leads us a step closer towards finding an HIV cure.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks our body’s immune system. If left untreated, HIV can develop into an acquired immunodeficiency symptoms (AIDS) which are a progressive failure of a person’s immune system that leads to cancer and life-threatening infections.
Currently, about 36.7 million in the world is infected with HIV/AIDS and 1.8 million of them are children, mostly infected by their HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. And the only way to know for sure is to be tested.
On the road to an HIV Cure
That is why many types of research and studies are made in order to look for a cure. Researchers and scientists of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are conducting research on fighting the virus with antibodies.
These antibodies are proteins found in our blood that identifies and neutralizes pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. And in the latest findings, they have discovered the N6 antibody.
Found in the blood of an HIV patient, researchers claim N6 was able to neutralize up to 98 percent of HIV strains. This includes 16 to 20 strains that are known to be resistant to antibodies in the same class as N6.
N6 works like VRC01, a previously discovered antibody that prevents infection to specific regions in the HIV envelope. However, N6 is stronger and more effective than VRC01, which only neutralizes 90 percent of HIV strains.
The discovery of N6 might not be exactly the cure we are waiting for yet. But it gives a promising finding for many patients of HIV/AIDS as it can pave the way to vaccines and treatments to fight the disease.
As of now, more studies and trials will first have to be done for the N6 antibody yet we are, for sure, closer than we have ever been to finding an HIV cure.
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