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Top medical researchers discover HIV antibody that proves effective without the use of pills

Top medical researchers discover HIV antibody that proves effective without the use of pills

Top global medical researchers discover new HIV antibody that can suppress the virus for six months

Top medical researchers have said they discovered an HIV antibody that can suppress the virus for about six months without further treatment. The findings give a clue to ways of achieving long viral remission in HIV patients.

- Researchers around the world have said that they have discovered new HIV antibody that suppresses the virus for about six months

- The findings, according to the researchers, gave a clue to ways of achieving viral remission in HIV patients

- They said antibody tend to last longer in the body and have shown promise for longer-acting HIV therapeutics and prevention methods

Researchers said they have discovered an HIV antibody that can suppress the virus for nearly six months without additional treatment.

The new study involved about half of a group of monkeys, infused with a broadly neutralising antibody to HIV combined with an immune stimulatory compound, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.

The findings, released at the 25th conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections in Boston, lend a clue to strategies that attempt to achieve sustained, viral remission in people living with HIV.

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Being supported in part by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the study may have targeted the viral reservoir, populations of long-lived, latently infected cells that harbour the virus and that lead to resurgent viral replication when suppressive therapy was stopped.

NIAID's director, Anthony Fauci said: “HIV excels at evading the immune system by hiding out in certain immune cells. The virus can be suppressed to very low levels with antiretroviral therapy, but quickly rebounds to high levels if a person stops taking pills as prescribed.”

“The findings from this early stage research offer further evidence that achieving sustained viral remission without daily medical prescription might be possible.”

In the study, scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center infected 44 rhesus macaques with simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), an HIV-like virus commonly used in nonhuman primate studies.

They then initiated daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute infection to suppress the virus to below detectable levels in the monkey’s blood.

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After a 96-week treatment, researchers divided the monkeys into four equal groups and continued to administer ART for 16 additional weeks, with an aim to determine whether the combination of HIV antibody and immune stimulant could reduce the viral reservoir while virus replication was well controlled by the ART.

After discontinuation of ART, the virus rebounded in the blood of all 11 monkeys that neither received HIV antibodies or immune stimulant after a median of 21 days.

The experts also said six of 11 monkeys that received the therapy combination showed a delayed viral rebound after a median of 112 days, and five others of the 11 did not rebound for at least 168 days.


The principal investigator of the study, Dan Barouch stated: “Our findings suggest that the development of interventions to activate and eliminate a fraction of the viral reservoir might be possible.”

The researchers said compared with the antiretroviral therapy which needs to be taken daily, antibodies to HIV tend to last longer in the body and have shown promise for longer-acting HIV therapeutics and prevention modalities.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that Danlami Kurfi, a lawmaker representing Dutsin-ma and Kurfi constituents in Katsina had made available N5 million worth of pills for sickle cell anemia and HIV patients in the state.

The intervention was to help residents in the state and also the state governor to deliver on his responsibilities to the people.

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