Researchers Attempt to Outwit AIDS Virus
Promising new tools are being tried in the battle against the AIDS pandemic. While researchers caution that the application of these tools to humans may be years away this new information promises yet another weapon to fight this deadly virus.
Unsuccessful at developing vaccines that cause the body's natural immune system to battle the virus, researchers are testing inserting a gene into the muscle that can cause it to produce protective antibodies against HIV.
The new method worked in mice and now has proved successful in monkeys, too, they reported in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine. The team is led by Dr. Philip Johnson of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The human immunodeficiency virus has killed millions and devastated communities around the world.
More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
Africa has 11.6 million AIDS orphans.
At the end of 2007, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 59% in sub-Saharan Africa.
Young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide.
In developing and transitional countries, 9.7 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 2.99 million (31%) are receiving the drugs.