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Researchers Discover Antibodies Which Block HIV From Developing AIDS

Jim Burroway

September 4th, 2009

According to the journal Science via the Los Angeles Times:

After nearly two decades of futile searching for a vaccine against the AIDS virus, researchers are reporting the tantalizing discovery of antibodies that can prevent the virus from multiplying in the body and producing severe disease. They do not have a vaccine yet, but they may well have a road map toward the production of one.

A team based at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla reports today in the journal Science that they have isolated two so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies that can block the action of many strains of HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS.

Crucial to the discovery is the fact that the antibodies target a portion of HIV that researchers had not considered in their search for a vaccine. Moreover, the target is a relatively stable portion of the virus that does not participate in the extensive mutations that have made HIV able to escape from antiviral drugs and previous experimental vaccines.

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Emily K
September 4th, 2009 | LINK

Dan Savage commented on AIDS anti-virus scientific progress in an article from a while ago; and it’s one of the few things I can just about totally agree upon. Please allow me to quote him here:

“We’ve been down this road before—HIV’s Achilles’ heel located, targeted, hopes raised, and then… it’s back to the ol’ drawing board. So let’s not run out and stick our asses in the air just yet, boys. And remember: Even if we do one day have a vaccine or a cure for HIV, re-creating the gay communal-sewer sex culture of the 1970s is a Very Bad Idea. One important take-away lesson—one of the top lessons—of the AIDS epidemic should be this: Given the right conditions, new sexually transmitted infections can emerge and kill you and all your friends.

Remember, kids: Straight people should have more sex (and more sex partners) than they do; gay people should have less sex (and fewer sex partners) than we can. Balance, balance, balance—oh, and anal sex is not a first-date activity; use condoms for anal sex with casual partners to protect yourself from HIV and other STIs, known and unknown; and lower your inhibitions the old-fashioned way (therapy and beer) and stay the f*** away from meth and meth users.”

Lindoro Almaviva
September 4th, 2009 | LINK

Emily, what a great quote

Priya Lynn
September 4th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, but I don’t think its a good idea to advocate alcohol as a method to lowering your inhibitions, that drug leads to unprotected sex as well as a host of other problems. How about avoid drugs in general?

Emily K
September 4th, 2009 | LINK

Priya I’d agree with you there. Really the part of the quote I most agree with is the first paragraph. I love that he is advocating commonsense-restraint. Nobody could ever accuse Savage of doing so because he’s a “prude.”

Priya Lynn
September 5th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, Emily, its a very important message.

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