Journal PLoS reports a French-led international research team has demonstrated success blocking transmission of SHIV (a simian analogue to human HIV) in macaque monkeys, using a vaginal gel containing microproteins that mimic the CD4 receptor structure on the outer shells of CD4 immune cells. The study authors write, "These results demonstrate that M48U1 miniCD4 acts in vivo as a potent entry inhibitor, which may be considered in microbicide developments."
BBC, reporting on this and other developments, welcomed the report but cautioned that safe sex with condoms will be necessary until there is either an effective HIV vaccine or a cure. ScienceDaily.com provides a solid, non-specialist-friendly summary of the study results and underlying science.
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