Posts tagged: Dr. David Harrich

Turning HIV On Itself: Fighting Fire With Fire

It looks as though HIV may be going down in the storybooks as yet another antagonist that has spelt out its own demise. Dr. David Harrich, of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, began what was to become a lifelong struggle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS – a struggle of which now he has the upper hand. Since the appearance of the first cases of AIDS in the 1980s, he has been fighting its spread and worldwide detrimental effects. Now with a laboratory breakthrough in hand, this story’s ending is within reach.

They call it fighting fire with fire. HIV – human immunodeficiency virus – , normally causing AIDS, has been modified to prevent it – turning HIV against itself. A protein, under normal circumstances, helps the virus grow. Mutated, as Harrich has done, it prevents the virus from replicating or spreading. “Patients would still be infected with HIV, but it would not develop into AIDS,” tells Harrich. It’s not the HIV that causes AIDS, but that your immune system becomes run down. “This mutated protein would help to maintain a healthy immune system so patients would be able to handle normal infections.” Without an inside man opening the door, AIDS will have no way to get in. Read more »

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