Scientists ‘edit’ cells to become HIV resistant

Scientists in the US have genetically modified the immune cells of 12 HIV positive patients, to make them HIV resistant.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, led by Professor Carl June, modified patients’ T cells to mimic a natural resistance to HIV given by the CCR5-delta-32 mutation – which naturally occurs in about 1% of the population. The mutation blocks HIV at the cell surface.

Some patients experienced a decreased viral load – a key factor in reducing HIV transmission – after they were taken off antiretroviral medication.

Researchers are hopeful the findings could eliminate the need for lifelong medication, and possibly lead to a functional cure for HIV/AIDS.

Read more at University of Pennsylvania