Finding a cure for HIV and other diseases related to it remains the biggest challenge for scientists. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), there were around 35 million people living with HIV at the end of 2013.
But now there’s a glimmer of hope for people living with HIV. Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have announced a novel drug candidate. The new drug candidate is so potent that it might work as a vaccine against the virus that causes AIDS.
When HIV infects a cell, it transforms the cell into a virus-producing site targeting the body’s immune system. The new drug agent binds to the surface of the virus, effectively blocking it from spreading the infection.
Scientists designed a delivery vehicle using a small, harmless virus to supply drugs to the organism. Once this virus is injected into a muscle tissue, it turns those cells into factories to produce its copies, much like HIV itself. It could provide enough protection for years or perhaps decades.