Monkeys used in Aids breakthrough

Cape Town – Two US trials have discovered that doses of antiretroviral drugs protected monkeys from the HIV/Aids virus, and may lead to tests on humans.

According to report on IOL virologists in two separate studies injected several monkeys with a prototype drug that shielded the monkeys from a virus that is the equivalent to HIV.

Built on previous works the research argues that people who take daily doses of an antiretroviral limit their chances of contracting the disease form a sexual partner. The chances of the disease spreading can be reduced by 90%.

In addition the research also shows that the rate of protection varies on the continued use of the new drug. When the monkeys failed to take the drug the rate of possible infection became higher.

One of the studies was conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers injected six female monkeys with a delayed antiretroviral drug named GSK744.

Scientists then twice a week placed a liquid containing a human-simian immunodeficiency virus into the vagina of the monkeys in order to replicate intercourse with a male.

Females who had GSK744 in the bloodstream did not get infected with the virus but a control group that only received a placebo became infected by the virus.

The first clinical trial that will include humans will be done later this year. It will include 175 people from various countries including Brazil, Malawi, South Africa and the United States.

GSK744 has been developed by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

















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