A Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) Associate Professor David Harrich has developed a way to use HIV to beat HIV in the laboratory.
He has determined how to modify a protein in the virus, creating the the “Nullbasic” protein, which provides strong, lasting protection from infection by stopping the virus from replicating in a lab environment. Animal trials are due to start this year.
“If this research continues down its strong path, and bear in mind there are a many hurdles to clear, we’re looking at a cure for AIDS,” he said. “You would still be infected with HIV, it’s not a cure for the virus. But the virus would stay latent, it wouldn’t wake up, so it wouldn’t develop into AIDS. With a treatment like this, you would maintain a healthy immune system.”