HIV and AIDS cure news: Can a vaccine flush out HIV virus?

(Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)A nurse tests a blood sample during a free HIV test at a blood tests party, part of a campaign to prevent HIV infection.

A new research by three prestigious universities suggests that HIV can be flushed out through a "kick and kill" injection.

The joint research by University of Oxford, University of North Carolina, and University of London revealed that a "kick and kill" injection can kick out dormant HIV that seems unnoticeable in the white blood cells.

This study, however, is based on a test they performed on one patient.

"Our study shows that the immune system can be as powerful as the most potent combination drug cocktails," said Dr. Ravi Gupta of University College London. "We're still a long way from being able to cure HIV patients, as we still need to develop and test effective vaccines, but this study takes us one step closer by showing us what type of immune responses an effective vaccine should induce."

The recipient of the study was a 59-year old man from London. He is considered as an "elite controller," which is an identification that his immune system is capable of controlling HIV minus the treatment. Apparently, 0.3 percent of people with HIV belong to the "elite controller." Without treatment, these patients can still survive. However, not for long; they will soon need treatment to fight off the virus.

The subject was diagnosed with HIV and myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. The HIV virus reawakened when his immune system went down due to the removal of his bone marrow. His HIV level decreased a couple of weeks after the stem cell transplant.

Meanwhile, the Emory University received a 5-year award with a $35.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in order to research new ways of preventing and curing HIV/AIDS. 

The aim of the organization is to develop a useful vaccine that is capable of a wider and sustainable immune response. They also want to develop a "shock and kill" method of destroying the virus. 

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