Researchers published findings on the reaction to human anti-bodies being able to fight certain parts of the HIV virus that allowed it to neutralize the disease. AIDS awareness advocates like Mary Pat Higley are excited by these findings and the renewed effort to find a vaccine.
Research published by the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa found a change in the outer coating of the HIV virus that allowed a few female HIV patients produce natural defenses to the notoriously evolving virus. The newest discovery has prompted a new wave of scientists to look for a way to use this new discovery in order to produce a vaccine.
Scientists have been trying for a few years to identify the reason why certain types of anti-bodies, one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms, were able to neutralize the HIV virus. Mary Pat Higley notes that this new discovery is the missing link that scientists were looking for to move forward with looking for a vaccine. Two women were studied for years to track how their bodies reacted to the HIV virus, which is how the discovery found the change in the virus that they were looking for.
HIV is an acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that when introduced to a person’s body through certain fluids, proceeds to destroy the white blood cells and other disease fighting cells in the patient’s body. Once the disease reaches a certain point where the body can no longer defend itself, the disease is then termed as AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. As AIDS awareness advocate Mary Pat Higley can confirm, the disease has no cure, but is treatable for a time. AIDS is usually not what causes the death of someone with the disease, but rather other ailments that can be caught now that the body’s immune system is all but destroyed.
The findings of the researchers in South Africa have inspired new hope for people with HIV/AIDS and everyone who strives to eradicate the disease from existence. The virus has been easier to maintain in the last decade or so, but it still is a killer for many people and a cure will be found one day.
Mary Pat Higley is a clinical pharmacist and AIDS awareness activist. She works hard to promote awareness of the disease and prevention in all ways possible.