Major breakthrough in battle against HIV

July 8, 2010 3:13:02 PM PDT
Scientists may be a step closer to an AIDS vaccine. U.S. government researchers have discovered three antibodies to HIV that neutralize more than 90 percent of all strains of the virus. The antibodies were found in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, whose body made them naturally.

They could provide the blueprint for an AIDS vaccine.

"It shows that perhaps the hope for a vaccine is real and the findings are there to be found," said UT HIV Vaccine Researcher Dr. Adan Rios.

The vaccine is still a long way off, as there are a range of animal tests, clinical trials and regulatory hurdles that still need to be met and overcome.

We spoke with a Houston man who is HIV positive. We're just referring to him as Roy. Roy runs the Body Positive gym, a gym just for those who are HIV positive. He has lived with HIV now for twenty years. To him, hearing of antibodies proven effective in neutralizing 90 percent of HIV strains is welcome news.

"It means a lot to me," he said. "I've been on so many different meds. They become ineffective for me. If I could take something like that, a vaccine, it would help me significantly."

Roy is among those who have been part of repeated drug trials over the years. He hopes antibodies will be a better solution, but he knows any vaccine is still some time away.

You can read the release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease here.


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