by Samuel Peterson
Posted on Friday 2nd of October 2009
AIDS has been one of the largest killers of people all over the world. Since the disease was first discovered and its effects registered, thousands have died and many more infected are discovered every day. The fact of the matter is that AIDS is one of the first infectious diseases that we have not found an actual permanent treatment for. Pharmaceutical companies all over the globe are racing to find a compound, vaccine or even a deterrent to prevent the spread of the disease through direct contact. A few of the hot contenders that are still under evaluation for controlling HIV and AIDS are-
1. Fusion toxins are the world of the future: At present, there are several clinical trials on in Boston and Baltimore on the efficacy of the compound. Seragen INC, a pharmaceutical company developed the product for use with several other diseases like lymphomas and rheumatoid arthritis. Promising results in the treatment protocol caused the company to ramp up research and testing on the HIV virus too. Fusion toxins are molecules created to bind to certain cells and prevent them from spreading. They are also capable of releasing toxins that will kill or seriously damage the bound cell. The HIV virus hides inside human CD4 cells and these same cells are particularly targeted for attack by the fusion toxin molecules. There is a potential risk that the fusion toxins can also kill completely healthy cells but clinical trials are on and the results could be promising. If the treatment works then the same fusion molecules could be used to send targeted medications directly to the infected cells in HIV as well as several other severe medical conditions.
2. Turning off the HIV virus: Long terminal repeat tails are the run off switches of the HIV virus. When the Rswitch or the Run off Switch of the HIV virus is switched off, the virus cannot replicate to infect the human body. Researchers are taking an active interest in how the process works and whether the process can be carried out independently by an external chemical. At present researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute have shortlisted three ingredients that can influence the LTR tails or the Rswitch of the HIV virus. They are curcumin, toptecan, and beta-lapachone that all show varying amounts of success. At present, more human testing is required before any conclusive results can be attained.
3. Preventing the formation of attachment proteins: When a person gets infected, the HIV virus attaches itself to a particular surface protein present on the surface of the CD4 lymphocyte. Researchers at the Naval Medical Research Institute are working to prevent CD4 cells from making the receptor cell. The main idea is to induce human cells to turn off the receptors that HIV prefers. Although a fair amount of success has been achieved, it still remains to be human tested and particularly on human patients.
This may seem like to little too late but rest assured that research companies are doing their best to find a permanent cure to the disease. All you, as an HIV positive patient can do is hope and keep a positive attitude. The possibility of a cure or a vaccine might be very near.
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