Monday, April 06, 2009

New Way to Look at HIV

The HIV virus kills 3 million people each year, and scientists have devoted a lot of time and effort over the last 25 years to find an effective treatment for it. Recently, a group of researchers began to tackle it with an interesting new approach; ignoring the virus and instead focusing on the body's reaction to it. As HIV attacks, the body sends out distress signals to white blood cells, who in turn get infected when they try to fend off the virus. The recent studies focus on muting those distress signals to keep the white blood cells from responding and getting infected. The technique prevented infection on 4 out of 5 monkeys tested, but it is still in very early experimental stages. As is the entire field of HIV research, this science is still uncertain and will need to go through long intensive tests before it can be applied to humans.
Source: Wired Science