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Medicine Australia Science

Australian Scientists Discover Potential Aids Cure 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the saving-lives dept.
smi.james.th writes "Several sites report that Australian researcher David Harrich and his team have potentially discovered a way to stop HIV becoming AIDS and ultimately cure the disease. From the article: 'What we've actually done is taken a normal virus protein that the virus needs to grow, and we've changed this protein, so that instead of assisting the virus, it actually impedes virus replication and does it quite strongly.' This could potentially hail one of modern medicine's greatest victories."
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Australian Scientists Discover Potential Aids Cure

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  • by Cryacin (657549) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:17AM (#42623387)
    Let's all hope for the public's sake that this does not turn out to be another "cure for AIDS", as has been heralded many times over the last decade.

    Besides that, there are plenty of other nasty, nasty diseases that you can catch apart from AIDS, such as Hepatitis C for instance. It would be interesting to see infection rates of other STD's increase if there isn't a fear disease like AIDS out there to promote the use of prophylactics.
  • by santax (1541065) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:18AM (#42623391)
    I might be slightly paranoid and I hope I am wrong, but why would big pharmacy want to produce this? They have a choice between selling someone a whole life really expensive medicines (well not to make, but to buy) or cure him... I am just going to assume that this method will be deemed 'unsafe'.
  • by Megahard (1053072) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:23AM (#42623423)

    Just starting animal trials. Too early to know if it's really going to work.

  • by mandginguero (1435161) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:25AM (#42623433)

    It doesn't matter if it isn't approved. If there is a mechanism published in the science literature to treat the disease, someone will be able to experiment with it in another country. Think about some of the African/Asian countries who have said to hell with Western patents on drug formulas and make their own. If a country can produce these compounds then they most likely have the means to run clinical trials.

  • by sjames (1099) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:49AM (#42623545) Homepage

    Actually, it has the potential to be much better than current treatments though it wouldn't actually be a cure. IF (and as always it's a big if) it really forces HIV to become latent, the patient would have a normal immune system and probably fewer side effects than with current drugs.

    But it wouldn't be a cure, just a very effective lifelong treatment.

  • by jkflying (2190798) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:54AM (#42623579)

    The trouble is that there *have* been a number of cures/vaccines, but HIV mutates so quickly that they were quickly rendered ineffective. HIV can differ significantly even between somebody and the person they were infected by, all depending on how their immune system responds to the infection and what drugs they are given.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday January 18, 2013 @02:20AM (#42623679)

    But it wouldn't be a cure, just a very effective lifelong treatment.

    And probably expensive. Why offer a one-time cure when you can offer a life-time treatment - he said cynically.

  • by sFurbo (1361249) on Friday January 18, 2013 @02:41AM (#42623743)

    As a business why would I want to cure a person when I can keep making money by offering lifetime treatments?. That's just how it is with big Pharma, most intelligent people know this.

    Big Pharma is actually more than one company, and company A doesn't care whether their cure for disease X makes the treatment of company B irrelevant.

    If they started actually curing everything, their profits would fall and the markets would tank.

    Because people can only get cancer once, and old people are not a better stream of revenue than young people, because Alzheimer medicine is not expensive.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:05AM (#42623805)

    IF (and as always it's a big if) it really forces HIV to become latent, the patient would still be a host even when having a normal immune system

    FTFY

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:36AM (#42623885)

    Healthy people do not just pay more taxes (which is a nice side effect, but then far from everyone pays taxes), they cost a lot less in the long run on health care. Which is the main reason many governments try to stop people from smoking, for example. And which is one of the reasons they promote sports and general exercise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:53AM (#42623959)

    Actually AFAIK, in order for a drug to be a generic variant of the originator, it has to be within the specified limits of it's bioavailability. In other words, the generic drug has to be bioequivalent to the originator's, meaning the amount that gets into the blood stream and the peak time need to be nearly the same. Otherwise the drug won't be aproved as a generic drug by FDA, EMA (or any other org.) and one would have to make clinical trials (which as you probably know cost a LOT) in order to be able to sell it.

  • by Xenkar (580240) on Friday January 18, 2013 @06:13AM (#42624345)

    I'm pretty sure those trials were ended early and the lower infection rate was mostly due to guys not engaging in sexual activities while they healed from the procedure. Afterwards they probably also noticed their sexual pleasure being reduced as the foreskin has a great deal of nerves and protects the head of the penis.

    I never knew the greatness of foreskin due to doctors and my parents decided something that should have been left up to me to decide, but these guys will probably regret their decision.

    So what's wrong with the tried and true method of not engaging in sexual activities with everything that moves?

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