Texas Tech Researchers May Have Found AIDS Cure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/7/08

Texas Tech Researchers May Have Found AIDS Cure

Texas Tech University in partnership with Harvard University is on the research forefront of a possible vaccine for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

To give you some idea of how big this story is, on Thursday it was the number one story on Newsweek's website and it will be the lead in their next magazine.

NewsChannel 11 met with the president of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Doctor John Baldwin and Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance. Both men are optimistic about this research and its possible impact on the world and Texas Tech.

"First of all it's huge that we're on the cutting edge in the investigation and the research. The other thing, if it goes the next step and becomes a vaccination it would be like the SALK vaccine for polio. I mean this is really big," said Chancellor Hance.

What these Tech and Harvard researchers have done is implant AIDS infected human cells into lab rats and mice and then treated those cells with the new HIV/AIDS drugs. What they've seen is a stop in the progression of the AIDS virus.

"It's very promising. It's promising particularly because it's not just a mouse or rat model, these are human cells transfected into rats. They're human cells that were infected with the HIV virus that have been able to be cured by this approach," said Dr. Baldwin.

Dr. Baldwin says these research trials in rats and mice will move to the next step with clinical trials in humans in the next year or so. And Baldwin also says if testing continues to prove effective at stopping HIV and AIDS, these drugs could be on the market for human use in the next five to ten years.

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