An Israeli researcher has made a discovery about HIV that he calls “revolutionary.”
Dr. Ran Taube of the department of microbiology, immunology and genetics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has found a link between the HIV virus and leukemia.
According to Taube, who paired with Dr. Uri Rubio of Soroka University Medical Center to conduct his research, the breakthrough is a “revolutionary diagnosis and the key to the clinical solution that will prevent infection with HIV and will destroy the deadly virus.”
Currently, there is no vaccine for HIV and the retrovirals used to prevent HIV do not prevent infection, only prevent the spread of the virus in the person who is already infected.
In addition some of the viral particles remain silent in the body and do not respond to retrovirals at all. Unless those latent viral participles can be stamped out, the infected person always runs the risk of those participles going active and ultimately infecting new cells.
According to Taube, now that the similarities between HIV and leukemia has been established, more effective treatment for both HIV infection and various leukemias can be explored, possibly even leading to life saving cures.
“Like what happens in the AIDS virus when it enters the chronic state, similar mechanisms of reproduction control the expression of genes responsible for the development of hematopoietic stem cells,” Taube explained. “The study is based on the supposition that harming the mechanisms of expression and reproduction of the viral genome is responsible for the accumulation of the latent virus and the chronic condition of the disease.”
Taube and his team’s research so far has earned the recognition support of the American Leukemia Research Foundation.
In the next stage of research, they hope to find a way to “wake up” the latent HIV particles at the same time they activate anti-viral suppressors, hopefully eradicating the silent viral particles for good.