Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University have developed an HIV/AIDS vaccine that appears to have the ability to completely clear and AIDS-causing virus from the body.
It is currently being tested through the use of a non-human primate form of HIV known as SIV, which causes AIDS in monkeys.
"To date, HIV infection has only been cured in a very small number of highly-publicised but unusual clinical cases in which HIV-infected individuals were treated with anti-viral medicines very early after the onset of infection or received a stem cell transplant to combat cancer,” said Louis Picker, M.D., associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. “This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body.”
In the study, about 50 per cent of monkeys given highly pathogenic SIV after being vaccinated with this vaccine became infected with SIV but over time eliminated all trace of SIV from the body.
“Through this method we were able to teach the monkey’s body to better ‘prepare its defences’ to combat the disease”, explained Picker.