US scientists have made a breakthrough in eradicating HIV in the body by genetically engineering immune cells (T-cells) to make them HIV-resistant.
The finding was presented by University of Pennsylvania gene therapy expert Carl June at an AIDS conference in Boston this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Researchers found that in nine HIV-positive patients, when blood was taken and a single gene was removed from T-cells (and the blood was then returned to the body), the T-cells could no longer make the protein HIV is attracted to, thus halting its spread.
The altered T-cells then multiply in the body, so the body builds up a resistance to HIV.
Researchers found the method of creating HIV resistance in T-cells was successful in all nine patients and said the results show promise.