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Stem Cells and HIV

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 15 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
Hiv Stem Cells Immune System Patient

HIV is a global problem and affects everyone, no matter where in the world you live – Britain or elsewhere. Finding new ways to battle HIV is key in the minds of many researchers. But although we have made progress with antiviral drugs, some people have developed a resistance to these drugs and for others, the side-effects cause too many problems.

New Defences Against HIV

One important area of research for HIV is to look at how stem cell therapies might help. In a recent study, scientists found that a stem cell therapy could effectively arm the immune system with a special defence against HIV. Their hope is that this novel treatment can be a new weapon in the fight against HIV.

Improved Quality of Life for HIV Sufferers

Researchers hope that this innovative treatment helps improve quality of life for HIV sufferers. It is also hoped that it can improve their life expectancy, particularly when antiviral drugs are not successful anymore.

Traditional Use of Antiviral Drugs

Typically with antiviral drugs, an HIV sufferer has to take the medications on a daily basis. Without an effective vaccine available, sufferers rely on antiviral drugs to support their immune system against the virus.

Poor Patient Compliance

Unfortunately, patient compliance is not always high and the virus has a sneaky ability to mutate rather easily. The result has been that we now have drug-resistant strains of the HIV and these are infinitely more challenging to treat. It has meant that the pressure is high for researchers to find something more effective – and do so quickly.

How the Gene Therapy Works

The gene therapy is thought to have relatively long-lasting effects, especially compared to the current daily dosing of antiviral drugs. Even one treatment of this therapy has shown longer effects.

It works by bringing antiviral DNA to the sufferer’s own immune cells. It then primes them to fight against the viral infection. The hope is that it will be a successful alternative for those patients who can’t obtain good results with a normal antiviral therapy.

The therapy itself works through an extraction and purification system. In it, blood stem cells are removed from the patient’s own bone marrow. Then, antiviral DNA gets transferred to cells; this is all done in the laboratory setting. Afterwards, these cells are injected back into the patient’s body.

The DNA is important because it encodes very small molecules that are mirror images of the viral genes that HIV uses to trigger disease in humans. These little molecules known as small RNA’s are suspended inside an immune cell but when they come into contact with a viral gene, they ‘stick’ to it.

This interference mechanism then halts the production of the main viral parts from these genes. Overall, shuffling the antiviral DNA to the stem cells helps to arm the patient’s immune system.

Using Stem Cells to Help HIV Sufferers

Researchers want to begin clinical trials of this novel therapy within the next few years, with the hope to get treatments directly to HIV sufferers as soon as possible. The positive laboratory results have scientists hopeful that the safety and efficacy will prove similarly strong in clinical trials. For HIV sufferers, this is good news that we may find better treatments to keep the disease in check.

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[Add a Comment]
Does stc30 assist with a recurring genital wart? can it be taken along with ART for HIV positive patients?
Davis - 15-Sep-20 @ 7:26 PM
Can I use STC30 with my ARVs and how STC30 will it help me
One - 11-Sep-20 @ 9:07 AM
I have been on ART for the past six years but my viral load have never been undetected all these years, can I use STC30 together with my ARVs
Mapu - 10-Sep-20 @ 11:32 AM
Has this treatment been approved by the WHO and can it assist with a recurring genital wart? Does it not interfere with ART for HIV positive patients?
Bandz - 14-Jul-20 @ 6:11 PM
How long can HIV stay undetectable after using stc30?
Manlis - 1-Jul-20 @ 3:42 PM
Is it save to use this product for high bloodand HIV patient
Pepsi - 29-May-20 @ 6:05 AM
Iwould like to know if I can use this therapy for hiv
Saai - 24-May-20 @ 2:48 AM
Iwould like to know if I can use this therapy for hiv
Saai - 24-May-20 @ 2:44 AM
Can stem cell therapy help my son who has liver problems or problems
duz - 11-Jan-20 @ 3:19 AM
How early and where can I get this therapy in South Africa as an IHV patient. Can it cure HIV or can it be taken simultaneously with ART.
Zulu - 1-Dec-19 @ 1:10 AM
Can the STC30 be used by HIV patients as it is now?
Nabulo Winnie - 17-Nov-19 @ 9:30 PM
Have been on HIV treatment for four months, had a viral load test and the virus could not be detected. Can I use the crystal cell therapy instead of ARV
Mhi - 12-Nov-19 @ 12:27 PM
When will clinical trials starti am interested in them.Where can one get the information because i want to be one of those who will be on trials
Mhingxi - 3-Nov-19 @ 11:12 AM
May you please post me full information on how STC30 helps patients on ARVs with lipodiastrophy and any other benefits especially on counteracting side effects of ART.
Andy - 5-May-19 @ 3:52 PM
A patient with brain aneurysm use stem cell?
hussy - 26-Dec-16 @ 2:12 AM
I want to start somatic neuclear gene transfer in some cells of mice to express such a gene which contain a compound like sugar lacking a 3rd OH group having a specific recepter to bind H.I.V. R.T. enzyme and prevent there replication in dividing and non dividing bo0th cells
K.K.PANDEY - 26-Aug-15 @ 7:56 AM
When will clinical trials start how does one get onto the program. I have had stem cell procedure for eye problem I experienced I understand the procedures involved. I would really like to be on the trials
poovi - 19-Oct-14 @ 6:16 PM
I am well and have just started hiv medication after 9 years.If I were to have an embryonic stem cell transplant, what benefits would that give me?
Puzzell - 19-Aug-14 @ 10:48 AM
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