Radio Shows | A New Study Brings New Hope- HIV Microbicide | mp3 … wma … wav
For years scientists have not been able to develop a vaccine for the AIDS virus. So others have been trying a new approach using microbicides.
Their goal is to develop a vaginal microbicide to prevent HIV infection during sex. A recent report shows a compound used in makeup and foods can actually block HIV transmission.
This particular microbicide is called glycerol monolaurate or GML. Researchers wanted to test GML on HIV because itís currently being used to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.
In lab studies, scientists tested GML on monkeys they infected with SIV. SIV which stands for Simian Immunodeficiency Virus is the monkey version of human HIV.
Both viruses infect T cells, the very immune cells that would normally protect you from viral infections.
The moment HIV or SIV enters the body, the immune system kicks in and produces signaling proteins that recruit T cells. T-cells are then infected by the virus and they spread the disease to the rest of the body.
The researchers theorized if they could prevent these T cells from responding, they might be able to stop the infection. And GML is able to accomplish this by blocking the production of the proteins that recruit T cells to the infection site.
In the lab, researchers mixed GML with a gel and applied it to the vaginas of five monkeys. Another five monkeys received only the gel. All ten monkeys were then infected with SIV.
Four of the five control monkeys developed SIV. Yet none of the GML treated monkeys developed an immediate infection. And months later, just one ended up with SIV. Thatís pretty encouraging for a first try.
Obviously a lot more work is needed, especially to test GMLís effectiveness against HIV.
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