Scientists in Spain have come up with a set of tiny synthetic molecules that can actually block the replication of the AIDS virus. Another bit of optimistic news on World Aids Day.
In tests, the molecule stopped the output of the virus’ genetic material from the infected cell to the outside of it, which means that the breakthrough invention stops other cells being infected.
In research lead by Jose Gallego from the Universidad Catolica de Valencia, the team developed a way to make the virus inhibitors, called fancy ‘terphenyls’, block the replication of HIV-1 and limit the function of a protein that allows reproduction of the virus.
This is the first time in history that a new synthetic chemical has been capable of this exact move, and it could lead to new paths towards other progress in fighting AIDs. Until now, scientists have focused on designing medicines to target proteins, as working on receptors is usually thought of as way too complicated.
It’s one small step in a giant battle. In 2010, the World Health Organization reported that there were 34 million people with HIV.
And it is one more piece of more optimistic news as we mark the 25th World AIDS Day (December 1) today. For the day, ONE has released: 2013 AIDS Report: The Beginning of the End? Tracking Global Commitments on AIDS, Volume 2. As you can see in the report, we have made great strides since the first World AIDs Day. So let’s keep spreading the word about the date, and keep pushing for progress to cure the global killer that has destroyed so many.