Australian researchers use a modified HIV virus to prevent AIDS

Australian scientists say they have found a way to use the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to prevent AIDS. Senior researcher David Harrich has modified a protein in HIV and it altered in a long-lasting, protection against AIDS. The modified protein helps to prevent the virus from replicating or spreading.

The key experiments were performed at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the study is published in the journal Human Gene Therapy. Patients would still be infected with HIV, said Harrich, but it would not develop into AIDS. This therapy is potentially a cure for AIDS.

Harrich’s team conducted the experiments in a laboratory. Thorough testing on animals is needed before any human trials can begin. They are scheduled to start later this year. The Australian scientists said they believe this new therapy could make a difference to millions of people.

Using a therapy based on a single protein could end multiple drug therapy for HIV patients, meaning a better quality of life and lower costs.