Right now, right this second, there are around 36 million people living with HIV or AIDS across the face of the Earth.
As I’m sure you are all aware there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, however HIV sufferers can live with their disease, enduring a lifetime of morning pharmaceutical cocktails keeping the disease dormant in the immune system – ready to fight back whenever the drugs stop.
However in the past few days there has been a gargantuan breakthrough made by French scientists who have discovered a marker which allows them to differentiate between HIV infected T-cells and healthy cells, reports Engadget.
Although to you and me this may sound like nothing – the breakthrough is as big as they come with scientists across the globe hoping the discovery could lead to bigger developments so that HIV cells could soon be eradicated entirely, thus curing patients.
Tony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, believes the discovery could lead to future developments, saying:
The fact that this work has been done by such competent investigators, and the data looks good, makes me optimistic.
More specifically, the team, from Montpellier University, Paris, noticed a biomarker protein called CD32a that wasn’t present in healthy cells.
The team then ran checks on HIV patients – extracting the CD32a from their blood. Then they realised that the CD32a was absolutely laden in invisible HIV cells.
Now the same group of scientists are running further tests and hoping that in the near future they will be able to extract all of the HIV cells – consequentially curing HIV patients.