For the first time, researchers have used a gene-editing technique to target HIV-infected cells and remove HIV genes completely from them. This could be, in effect, the first steps to a “cure”. But this is only a proof of concept at the moment.
In the lab, the therapy produced significant reductions in viral production by CD4 cells taken from four people with HIV. The therapy also made uninfected cells more resistant to infection and 100% resistant to one of the two strains of HIV tested.
The next step is to see if the gene-editing therapy will remove the HIV genes from cells that are already being treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART).
This is a remarkable advance but considerable challenges remain before the approach can be tested in humans.
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