HIV and AIDS Cure and News: HIV Can Be Detected Using a Simple Scam

By Steff

According to a group of scientists from Imperial College London, there seems to be a way where you can detect HIV just by using a simple scan.

The reason why it's so complicated to cure HIV is because even with the drug treatments, the virus simply mutates and transfers somewhere else, the drug can simply remove the HIV from the blood but not from the body. This new technique can actually help other scientists find a more precise cure against HIV, like what Alan Winston (Imperial College London) says, "This could really help with the research for a functional cure.

It is believed that HIV simply hides in a person's immune cells to replicate or sometimes to become dormant. So it has been thought that one way to cure HIV is to actually wake up the virus and kill it. The research is still on its infant stage, however it shows promise, but most importantly, they are figuring out how to find the location of the HIV. Some are wondering whether a typical PET scanning could actually work, much like how to find cancer in the body, this was according to Francois Villinger and his colleagues from Emory University in Atlanta. The idea originated from the discovery of the antibody that attaches itself closely to SIV (monkey version of HIV).

In order to experiment with the idea, the team from Emory University, injected 3 monkeys with SIV with radioactive antibodies, and upon PET scanning the monkeys the radiation revealed a viral protein called gp120 all across the body however not able to get to the brain, which is a crucial part as this is thought to be one of HIV's sanctuary sites. The scan--however not detailed--seemed to have showed the virus in the immune cells, as confirmed when the monkeys died and their immune cells were tested. Though this is not detailed according to Alan Winston,"It's the first paper that has allowed us to visualize viral reservoirs." The article was first published at Nature Methods.

Now the scientist would need to create antibodies that can recognize gp120 protein. If scans are going to be developed for HIV then it'll be harder to HIV to mutate and hide once a person is diagnosed.



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