DENVER — Danish researchers say they are awaiting results of a clinical trial that will test a “novel strategy” that could produce a mass-distributable and affordable cure for HIV.
According to Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper, the clinical trial is testing a strategy in which the HIV virus is “reactivated” from its hiding place within human DNA and destroyed by the immune system.
The method has been found to work in laboratory tests using human cells.
Dr. Ole Sogaard told the newspaper he believes the technique of getting the HIV virus to reactivate will be the easy part.
“The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems, as well as how large a proportion of the hidden HIV is unmasked,” Sogaard said.
Fifteen patients are taking part in the clinical study. The results are expected in the second half of 2013.
More than 1.1 million Americans are HIV positive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in five don’t know they’re infected.