Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia have been able to destroy HIV in human cells, rather than simply suppress it, a breakthrough in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.
“It’s an important finding because, for the first time in laboratory setting, we show that the virus can be eradicated from human culture, cell culture, said Dr. Kamel Khalili, who led the research team at Temple’s Center for Neurovirology.
“Basically [we’re] converting infected cells to un-infected cells,” he explains “And that is very important because the current therapy can not eliminate the virus from cells.”
Dr. Khalili’s team developed molecular tools that can operate on DNA and delete HIV in cells.
Now they must figure out how to take the procedure from slides in the lab to animals, and ultimately, humans.
“We have a cure for HIV elimination. We have a system to eliminate HIV from the cells in the laboratory,” says Dr. Khalili. “Very exciting, it’s very exciting.”
30 million people are infected with HIV worldwide. A recent study CDC indicated that while HIV rates are down more than 30% in America, the numbers for young gay and bi men 13-24 have doubled since 2002.