HIV and AIDS can possibly be cured within the foreseeable future. A German research team has removed the dreaded virus from infected mice.
Swallow a battery of medicines every day, face all kinds of side effects and be stigmatized by the environment. That has long been the daily reality for a large proportion of the 37 million HIV patients in the world.
But within a foreseeable number of years that may be a thing of the past. A German research team has achieved a sensational breakthrough.
The team has created an enzyme that could kill the incurable HIV virus to date.
Treatment cuts HIV
The enzyme acts as a kind of scissors that can cut the HIV virus out of the DNA of the infected person.
The enzyme tests and their conclusions have been published in Nature Biotechnology, and are considered a huge breakthrough in HIV and DNA research.
The so-called 'gene pair' has been given the name Brec1 and has already been successfully tested on mice.
After treatment with the enzyme, the sick mice showed no signs of contamination.
The researchers think that the treatment can also be successfully applied to people - and without side effects.
HIV treatment made by evolution
The enzyme is made by means of so-called targeted evolution - a technique that mimics the natural evolution of proteins, but where researchers can steer in which direction the evolution is going.
The German research team wants to start testing people as quickly as possible. This is likely to happen in Germany initially.