AIDS: Nobel had virus "by hand" provides long way to cure AIDS

Long way to cure AIDS

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This video generated a quick response from the scientific community, whose link this one (Opens in another tab)


A long road to AIDS cure

A few years ago the virologist Françoise Barre-Sinoussi foresees a "long way to cure AIDS". However, she stressed that before isolating and identifying HIV with Luc Montagnier in 1983, they were also not believed to be close to having it "in their hands."

In an interview with Portuguese news agency Lusa on the sidelines of a conference at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Lisbon), the French scientist who received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008, he recalled that "there prósimas answers."

"Compared to the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), if I had asked the same question at the end of 1982, would give the same answer: I do not know. But in early 83, we already had the virus in 'our hand' "he recalled.

"In this way, maybe it will be a quick way to find the cure, but it can be a way to take a very long time lag until it is" a definitive solution for AIDS and I, today. Nowadays I believe it will be a long period of time until this happens, "said the virologist Barre-Sinoussi explaining that, despite the" great progress "in the knowledge of the virus and its interaction with the virus, what is there being discovered in "today is much more difficult".

"We are going to need a lot more technology and new experts, from other areas, from other scientific segments and that is why we have a long way to go," Barré-Sinoussi told Lusa.

The difficulty of getting a vaccine to prevent HIV infection, he explained, is related to innumerable facets of this virus as "scientific obstacles": HIV infection is very complicated in its "mechanics", far more than other types of infections. "

"The virus is mutant, which becomes an obstacle often mentioned, but not the only one. The virus affects organisms much faster than our body is able to react, to "try" to control this infectious process and this is further complicated because it immediately affects the CD4 cells, which are cells that "command the immune response, "leaving, in other words, an unofficial army that transmits strategic orders to combat this pathogen and that is just one of the major obstacles to be overcome, Sinoussi explained.

The researcher at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) explained that "the immune system's response would need (or need?) To be able to block the transference [of infection] between these cells and yet the cells being infected are just the cells that should instruct the immune system to avoid this event, and this * strategic gap * exasperatingly complicates the search for a solution. "

The infection, worsening the facts, "not only changes the immune specific response against the virus, as our defenses against pathogens in general," he summarized.

Hence the need to "seek an improved understanding of the interaction between HIV and the carrier, in order to perceive and clarify which response we should use in the vaccine to have the necessary protection." And once this response is obtained, we would have to test them sooner or later on humans and we can not simply apply a possible vaccine in a patient cohort and suggest that they behave as supermen or super women, encouraging them to take all risks, in the desire to "see what they give".

"For this simple question we have no answer," he admitted.

Asked to comment on the first Portuguese institutional prevention campaign, directed at gay men, the French researcher said that is not a new issue elsewhere.

"We know that unfortunately this population is still affected by HIV / AIDS infection and we need to have information, education and prevention campaigns. It's a tricky subject in my country, France, where men who have sex with men continue to be infected today. "

To counter this reality has tried to promote a program of tests.

Barre-Sinoussi still refuses to speak up in risk groups, remembering that history "shows the bad impact, with discrimination and stigmatization" and homosexuals "are a people like any other, but there has to be education and information."

About condom female, who has also been the target of prevention campaigns in Portugal, it states that the non-use can be cultural. "But it is also a practical question of how to use it," he said, explaining that it is not as easy to use as the condom male.

He also recalled that the "first message" in the case of this disease is still and for a very large lapse of time will be "prevention."


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