Prevention is better than cure! Especially if the cure of the disease is not possible. One of them is HIV that most of the time leads to AIDS. In the year 2016, about 36.7 million people were infected with HIV and the count is only increasing day by day. Unfortunately, the medical science has failed to find out a cure for this disease until now. A study reveals that an antibody recently found in the immune system of humans can boost the efficiency of HIV fighting elements. It has been found that the people injected with this antibody currently known as VRC01 help to decrease the level of HIV in the blood of people who were yet to receive antiretroviral drug treatment (ART). Currently, in order to manage HIV infection, the infected person is treated with ART.
However, there was no difference in the infection management of those already being treated with ART. The one reason for this could be that ART had already reduced the level of virus in their blood. Notably, the study was short termed and the patients who were under it might not have got rid of HIV completely. But looking at the scarcity, this one can prove as an amazing alternative to antiretroviral therapy. director of the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, Julian Ma said: “this offers a potential alternative to antiretroviral therapy.” She continues “We desperately need them given our dependence on a relatively small number of antiretroviral therapy drugs. eventually, this new approach could be combined with other treatments aimed at lowering levels of HIV in the body and preventing dangerous strains from emerging.”
The research targetted 12 people with HIV. Six of them were already under ART therapy and the other eight patients were medicated with one infusion of the drug. Resultantly, the virus level in the blood of the patients who were not taking ART plunged down to a great number and in some cases vanished straight away. However, it does not mean that the virus was completely out of the patient’s body, the injection had brought them to a negligible level.
No side effects have been detected till now. The research is in its infancy and has only completed the first of three stages. The other point of concern is that the study should be done on people who have a different level of virus. Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center in Nashville, Dr. James Crowe called study promising and impressive but also clarified that the intake of antibody in single doses are “relatively minor and temporary.”