The Cure for HIV Is Coming Very Soon

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a breakthrough in research that could lead to a victory over HIV and AIDS in the foreseeable future.


Medical Columnist, Ornament


Over the past two decades, the lives of many AIDS patients have improved as a result of groundbreaking new treatments that control the virus, turning a once deadly disease into a chronic disease. HIV weakens the body's defenses by destroying white blood cells, which are crucial to a healthy immune system.

The technique, developed in Dr. Barzel's laboratory at Tel Aviv University, involves injecting genetically modified type B white blood cells that stimulate the immune system to secrete antibodies that neutralize HIV. The engineered B-cells are injected into the body. There they encounter the virus, which induces them to divide — that is, fight themselves. Even if the virus mutates, the B-cells adjust to it and continue to fight.

Warrior Cells

B-cells are a type of white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies against viruses and bacteria that form in the bone marrow. When B-cells mature, they travel to the blood and lymphatic systems and from there spread throughout the body.

Dr. Barzel's team was not only able to create them inside the body but also used CRISPR, a system designed to edit genes, to make them produce the right antibodies and direct them to the right parts of the body.

Thanks to this technology, medications for AIDS, other infectious diseases and some types of cancer may appear in the coming years. Moreover, only one shot will be needed to defeat the disease or, at least, to significantly improve the condition of the patient.

11 July 2022

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