(WZZM) - Researchers have reported a couple of breakthroughs in their work to end the threat of HIV. The first could lead to a therapy that would not involve any drugs.
Researchers reported their first success in genetically editing immune system T-cells to resist the virus.
They removed a specific gene that controls a protein that allows the virus to enter a cell. After being put back in the body, the modified cells multiplied.
It worked so well, a few patients were taken off HIV drugs temporarily and their virus levels decreased. The small study was meant to determine if the treatment is safe, but researchers say the initial results are impressive.
The second breakthrough could protect people from even being infected with HIV.
Researchers are working on an injection that would provide protection for three months at a time. In tests, the drug protected lab monkeys from a hybrid HIV strain.
The drug is based on one already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients with HIV. Human trials could begin in a few months.