HIV News: Woman’s Reproductive Tract Might Hold The Key For The Disease

Long before, a significant number of researchers have been baffled with regards to the complex structure of the HIV virus and how could it be cured. Despite the continuous efforts to eradicate the problem, HIV remains to be one of the world's long-dreaded diseases which have already affected millions of lives across the globe. Now, considered as their major breakthrough, Geelong scientists have recently discovered a protein found in women that could be the key in preventing the spread of HIV.

Geelong Scientists On Potential HIV Cure

According to reports revealed by The Courier Mail, a team of scientists from Deakin University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research were the ones who allegedly discovered the protein that can be found in a woman's reproductive tract. Researchers have explained that the protein had the ability to block the replication of human immunodeficiency virus in human cells. Dubbed as interferon epsilon, researchers continue to explain that the said protein has been discovered three years ago.

Furthermore, in one of his statements reported by Geelong Advertiser, Johnson Mak, who happens to be the chairman of infectious diseases at Deakin University's School of Medicine was quoted to have said that interferon epsilon acts like a moderator and a regulator for the human immune system. Additionally, the protein is reportedly expressed in the female reproductive tract by being a natural mechanism that the body used to protect females from getting infections. Prof. Mak has also revealed that interferon epsilon may actually facilitate or induce our body's immune system to block off HIV at multiple different steps.

The 'Interferon Epsilon'

Meanwhile, experts say that current HIV prevention strategies, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs, primarily attack the virus by chemical means. However, what sets interferon epsilon apart is that the protein works on the virus differently by taking advantage of our natural immune system to suppress viral replication. The chairman of infectious diseases has claimed that the protein's discovery could potentially help find safer HIV prevention strategies for women, such as a gel or microbicide that would boost a woman's natural levels of the protein. Ultimately, Mak said that the team wants to better appreciate how the protein works, how to handle it, how to reproduce it and how to make it more potent.


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