Health: HIV Eliminated From Lab Mice, Paves Way For Possible Cure

Developments in the fight against HIV are arriving one after another, with the latest being published in the journal, Nature. The study, conducted by a team that included an HIV expert and a gene-editing expert, has succeeded in eliminating HIV entirely from the entire genome of a third of their lab mice.

The paper, titled “Sequential LASER ART and CRISPR Treatments Eliminate HIV-1 in a Subset of Infected Humanized Mice,” revealed a two-pronged approach to battling HIV in the body. LASER ART, or long-acting slow-effective release antiviral therapy, is used to suppress and isolate the virus. CRISPR Cas9 gene editing is then used to eliminate the virus completely.

Dr. Howard E. Gendelman, Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Dr Kamel Khalili, of Temple University in Philadelphia, are two of the scientists who were part of the team that conducted the study. The pair talked to about the study, saying that the results of the study were unexpected, even to them.

“We thought it was a fluke, a problem with the graphs; that the cells carrying HIV had died; that our assay system was wrong,” said Gendelman. “It was only after we repeated it a couple of different times (that we accepted it).”

With the success of this procedure on their lab mice, the team is now moving to test the technique on macaque monkeys. Human clinical trials might start in 2020 if everything goes well.

This news comes on the heels of the announcement that private insurers may soon be required to cover PrEP. Aside from that, a generic form of Truvada — the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be sold as PrEP — is set to be released in 2020 as well, around the same time human clinical trials for this technique might possibly be held.

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  1. Sickofit

    Amazing how this development “just happens” to occur on the heels of the news about private insurers being required to cover PREP and Truvada going to generic!

  2. Crazysexycool

    That’s great news! But not to sound cynical, the pharmo companies are not excited about this. Definently will cut into their profits on HIV meds

  3. R L

    This is a far cry from the days, only 30 years ago, when Jesse Helms and others were against offering any money for AIDS research, and the only treatment was expensive, miserable, and only slowed down death. I hope people will not take this for granted and will keep being sensible. I also hope it is not insanely expensive.

  4. LuckyBiChucky

    I think this is great news, but I have a fear of what destructive disease/virus will be next. If you look throughout history, every time a disease/virus is cured, there always seems to be another, more destructive one waiting in the wings.

  5. Luigi Nonono

    Gene therapy is wishful thinking. Meanwhile, there have been immune humans all along and University of Pennsylvania was studying them. But the best cure is prevention and avoidance. No barebacking.

  6. GoodolFuckBuddy

    Great. So it’s safe to have unprotected sex with mice now. LOL
    I’m happy to see the progress made in fighting HIV. However because people’s sexual practices which spread the disease have changed little I suspect another STI will take it’s place. I hope the advances are reaching the whole world and not just rich people in this country who have the means to access it.

  7. gtownbottom

    I’m Not Gonna Believe It Till I See It Curing People. Besides, Big Pharma Is Not Going For Curing H.I.V., They Will Loose Billions Of Dollars. They Want Us To Stay Sick So Good Luck With That.

  8. Nathan

    “Of Mice And Men”

    Mice have a, somewhat, similar Immune System. It isn’t exacting but is does mirror ours to a predictable extent which is why most studies are performed on Mice before Men.

    Mice, actually, are Men’s best friend…erroneously attributed to Dogs.

  9. Hunter0500

    You can hear the mice cheering! Now they have the freedom and the joy of being able to have blissful, natural, unprotected sex with every mouse that catches their eye.

  10. Nathan


    Mighty Mouse has been having sex with Minnie Mouse since before we were born!

    No one ever mentioned a condom? Never knew if Mickey and Minnie ever procreated; multiplied or replenished?

  11. Sammmy

    2 out of 7 mice were cured, not known why. The major problem is pulling ALL the dormant hiv out of the sanctuary reservoirs so that CRISPR can edit it out of DNA.

  12. marc

    This is great news! Of course, there is still a few years before this becomes a viable treatment for humans. I know that many are believing that Big Pharma isn’t going to allow this to happen but I think that is completely wrong. The reality is that the total global pharmaceutical revenue is about $1 trillion dollars of which half comes from US and Canada. US and Canada make up only 8% of the world population. The majority of hiv infection occur in sub-Sahara Africa which are still poorly undertreated. Pharmaceutical companies make there money on cancer and neurological disorders. If anything, it would be better said that big pharma doesn’t want a cure for cancer since that is where the money really is for these companies. I believe that there will be a cure for hiv infections within a decade. I do agree that there will eventually be another std that will take its place. But I don’t think that the “evil” pharmaceutical companies are stopping a hiv treatment. The money in hiv for big pharma just isn’t there, not when you have a large world population that needs treatment for cancer, neurological issues, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. That population is an endless profit that hiv can’t compete with. So I’ll be glad when people stop saying that Big Pharma isn’t going to let a hiv cure happen. It is happening. It has been happen and it will happen.

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