When HIV carriers are inoculated with inactivated HIV, they can bring about the suppression effect of active viruses. A new study shows that injecting heat-inactivated HIV to some AIDS patients can awaken their immune protection and reduce their need for drugs, with effects for weeks to months. Although this effect is temporary, this method alone may bring new ideas for long-term HIV control.
When defending against HIV, the human immune system appears to be powerless. The main reason is that the target of HIV is to help defend against the virus's T cells. Using vaccines to "warn" T cells and other immune forces in HIV-infected patients can produce complex results.
In this study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine No. 2, scientists report a new method that can significantly reduce the level of viruses in the body. Using blood samples from 36 AIDS patients, the researchers extracted HIV from each person â€™s blood and sampled dendritic cells. The researchers randomly selected 22 of them and inoculated them with their own dendritic cells and heat-inactivated HIV. After 12 weeks, 12 of 22 patients had their virus levels reduced by at least 90%.
Felipe Garcia, who led the study, explained that this result shows that dendritic cells carrying inactivated viruses can launch violent immune attacks against live viruses. The other patients in the control group were vaccinated with inactivated HIV and dendritic cells, which had little effect on them.
Among the patients receiving this treatment, their newly acquired immunity against HIV weakens with time, and the virus level in the body will rise. After 48 weeks, only 3 people still maintained a 90% reduction in virus levels.
The researchers said that the method of reducing the virus level in the new study is very promising. The research team is currently trying to find virus particles that can trigger the best immune response.
Experts say that although the therapeutic vaccine cannot achieve the goal of completely eliminating the virus in the body, as long as it has a long-term effect, it is still beneficial. Significantly reducing the virus level in patients means that patients can no longer need drugs, will not show symptoms, and will not transmit the virus to others. This is a precedent in what is called the "elite controller". Even if people with less than 1% of the population have been infected with HIV for several years, their immune system can still suppress the virus.
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