Scientists have identified a protein that could practically eliminate the HIV virus.
Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have identified a protein called Gammora that they say can reduce HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, in infected patients by 97 percent.
This sexually transmitted retrovirus, which is the precursor to the deadly Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is currently treated with drugs that slow its progression; however, as of now, there is no cure for HIV positive patients.
Gammora could be the answer.
The findings raise hopes for sufferers of a disease that killed more than a million people globally in 2015.
The HIV virus attacks a type of white blood cell known as a CD4, which is used by the body to fight off illnesses like flu.
The virus uses the internal machinery of these cells to effectively take it over and make more and more copies of itself, destroying CD4s in the process.
The new drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of 10 Aids patients by scientists at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The active ingredient, called Gammora by researchers, caused several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter an infected CD4 cell, instead of the usual one or two.
This caused the damaged white blood cell to go into overdrive and self-destruct, leaving it unable to spread the virus any further.
Tests using Gammora will continue amid hopes it will soon be able to kill 100 per cent of infected HIV cells.