Have scientists discovered a groundbreaking new treatment for HIV and AIDS?
Scientists will be presenting the results of two major trials conducted in Southern Africa at a conference in Boston this week that could lead to tremendous breakthroughs in finding a cure for HIV and AIDS.
The trials centered around a vaginal ring that contains antiretroviral medication and is inserted monthly, allowing a woman to prevent HIV transmission even if her partner doesn’t use a condom, according to a Boston Globe report. Their findings will be presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, which will convene in Boston Feb. 22-25
The studies have so far been positive, and there’s hope that wide availability of this method could block many HIV transmissions. Scientists are also working on a successor — a vaginal ring that would only need to be inserted once every three months.
But that’s not all: scientists will also be presenting findings on their progress toward an HIV vaccine, the holy grail of anti-AIDS efforts. And scientists think we’re getting ever closer to finding one.
Researchers have been able to create antibodies that show promise in animals, which could lead to a vaccine that could solve HIV. This, combined with the fact that we can keep the immune systems strong in those who are HIV positive for decades due to advances in immunology, and hope has never been stronger for those infected with a virus that was once viewed as a death sentence.
Still, the battle is far from over. More than 1.5 million people around the world are infected with HIV each year, and another 1 million die from AIDS.