HIV Vaccine Breakthrough?
A huge breakthrough in the fight against HIV. Researchers at the CDC are reporting that two drugs, when used in combination, have proven to prevent lab monkeys from contracting HIV. At this point, researchers aren't positive that it would work with humans, nor what dosage humans would require. Still - very encouraging.
How they conducted the research:
The team of researchers injected the monkeys with a form of Truvada (commonly used in AIDS 'cocktails'), the once-a-day pill from Gilead Sciences that includes Viread, or tenofovir, and Emtriva, or emtracitibine. Half of the monkeys were given the medication - the other half were not. The researches then exposed the monkeys to HIV via the anus. Those monkeys given the drugs did not develop HIV, the monkeys that were not inoculated did.
On the flip side... researchers noted that current recommended doses of Truvada would not be sufficient in humans to prevent contracting HIV.
In a statement from the CDC:
"Study authors believe the findings may be the strongest animal data yet suggesting that potent antiretrovirals given before HIV exposure may prevent sexual HIV transmission."
Another notable HIV/AIDS development:
Scientists in Germany say that a sunflower plant could be used in new drugs to fight HIV.
Researchers at the University of Bonn discovered the link while they were looking at antifungal properties the sunflower uses to fight off sclerotinia, a disease commonly known as white mold.
The antifungal substance is also found in the artichoke and wild chicory. Researchers said it would be cheaper to make the drug from the sunflower plant.