We Are Now One Step Closer to New HIV Cure, Researchers Say

HIV testing
HIV testing (Photo: delbert/ Twitter)

Researchers have recently got good news-they finally found clues that could help them discover the most effective medication that can be used to treat HIV, which is the present's major global public health issue.

Infecting about 36.9 million people all around the globe in 2017, based on the research reported by Avert, HIV rates have already been very alarming these past years. About 9.3 million of the carriers don't even know they are infected yet.

As the need to stop this epidemic arises, a lot of researchers have worked together to come up with a solution. One of them is Yuntao Wu Ph.D., a Professor from George Mason University.

Though his studies, which was published in the journal entitled Science Advances, Professor Wu discovered how a specific key protein named cofilin could be the "hero" that could help the body's cells fight off the HIV infection.

The protein cofilin, according to science, is the key factor that enables cells to migrate or travel from one place to another. With an insufficient amount of these, cells productivity and effectiveness are greatly affected.

The research also pinpoints that people who have HIV also suffer from cofilin dysfunction, which is one of the reasons why their body was unable to fight off their disease, as reported by EconoTimes.

Without the help of this protein, helper T cells, which helps the body respond to foreign antigen by initiating the body's immune response, won't be as effective too.

Given this reason, Professor Wu explained, "When you have an infection, you need to mobilize the T cells." He further added, "In HIV infection, there is a profound depletion of helper T cells in lymphoid tissues, such as those in the gut."

With the information gathered from the study, Professor Wu and his team were able to debunk the importance giving HIV patients not just antiretroviral therapy but also medicines that could help their body repair the cofilin damage caused by their disease. By doing so, helper T cells will be easier to travel to one tissue to the other, which could help rebuild the body cells slowly but surely.

As they unveil one of the most important scientific breakthroughs in the field of medicine, Professor Wu said, "Now we have a marker and at least one target that we can focus on to discover new therapies to repair the immune damages for a functional cure."

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