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World AIDS Day 2022: HIV-negative people, on exposure or before an anticipated exposure, can take pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis medicines, which are considered highly effective in preventing possible HIV transmission.
A lot of research work is ongoing, supported by major organisations across the globe, including NIAID-supported research on HIV treatment. They aim to develop long-acting therapies that, unlike currently available antiretrovirals, require daily dosing and could be taken weekly, once or once a month, or even less often. These long-acting therapies might be more accessible for many people to adhere to than the daily pills, resulting in more compliance, less toxicity, and cost-effectiveness. Consultant Infectious Diseases Dr Monalisa Sahu, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, shares that the three significant agents under study and development phases are long-acting drugs, broadly neutralizing antibodies, and therapeutic vaccines.
Multiple neutralizing antibodies for the treatment of HIV are being tested and developed by scientists at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC). Neutralizing antibodies are good candidates for treatment since they are associated with few side effects in the body. In addition, their dosing could be very convenient, like every other month or even less often.
These bNAbs can potentially thwart HIV by binding directly to the virus, further preventing it from entering a cell and thus accelerating its elimination. However, they can also bind to an HIV-infected cell, leading to the recruitment of immune-system components, thus facilitating cell killing.
The CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique will make it much simpler to introduce these changes in the future.
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