HIV: Newly Discovered Component Could Lead to More Effective Drugs

HIV: Newly Discovered Component Could Lead to More Effective Drugs

Scientists from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and University College London – both in the United Kingdom – have uncovered key components of HIV, which they believe could lead to new approaches for drugs to fight the infection.

HIV weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. Only certain body fluids – blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk – from a person who has HIV can transmit HIV.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. Although there is no cure for HIV infection, improved treatments allow people living with HIV to slow the virus’ progression and stay relatively healthy for several years.

HIV is a part of a subtype of viruses called retroviruses, which means that the virus is composed of RNA – instead of normal DNA – and has the unique property of transcribing RNA into DNA after entering a cell.

This retroviral DNA can then integrate into the DNA of the host cell and remain undetected by the immune system. The infected cell can produce virus cells with different RNA genomes, which restarts the infection cycle. This unusual method of infection and replication has made it difficult to develop a vaccine for HIV… Read More>>

Source: Medical News Today

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