A recent study conducted by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research reports the uncovering of a new method in curing the HIV virus and maybe be a key tool in preventative applications to the point where no further medication will be needed. The observation of two HIV infected males, both whom, after undergoing DNA sequencing stating they are in fact infected, have resulted still with no signs of the virus in their blood stream.
Further studies resulted in the discovery of a common human enzyme has played a key role in placing these men in a functional cured state. The enzyme named APOBEC acts as a genetic mechanism and is responsible for halting the reproduction of the HIV virus. The enzyme processes the virus genetic coding altering it into a state of containment. APOBEC’s genetic conversion of the infection is a process called Endogenization. The cells remain infected but are now in an inactive state due to its altered genetic structure. This discovery has opened doors to engineering new platforms of research and leading to new means of medical practice against the virus.
Although the French HIV cure has been uncovered, the current and most common form of treatment of the virus is antiretroviral therapy. The virus breaks into human immune cells assimilating and converting the cell into a factory for self-reproduction and weakens defense against all illness. Patients are then set to undergo antiretroviral therapy and are aided in strengthening their immune systems through of series of medications that prevent and protect from infections and/or placing them in HIV’s second stage known as AIDS in which a the body can no longer defend itself from any illness and can lead to death.
The therapy does not cure or remove the virus from patients only helps maintain a clean system. The virus resides in pockets or reservoirs where dormant HIV cells lye. These medical practices are then applied to the patient for the rest of their lives. If a patient were to stop medication, the dormant HIV cell often returned and infected the patient. As of now, with the advent of the enzyme emerging, has researching stipulated that over time humans have become more and more likely to undergo endogenization and suggest a wide spread DNA sequencing in infected patients to affirm the stipulation.
The French HIV cure discovery is now believed to be a possible stepping stone in a reformation of medical practice in the retroviral research and development programs. The Institute of Health and Medical Research team surmise the endogenization process to be a prerequisite in study and practice to curing the HIV virus proposing integration of the genetic mechanism, thus inactivating further internal replication of the virus in those afflicted. Early stage patients have been found to be more receptive to the APOBEC enzyme and suggest that early treatment may play a strong role in eliminating the establishment of HIV reservoirs in patients. This process will not remove the virus from patients but will place patients into a functional cure state.
By Ernesto Perez