In a big accomplishment for the medical science, the deadly Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is slowing its ability to cause AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
According to the scientists, a less virulent virus could be the probable reason leading to a turning of the fatal pandemic, resulting in the end of AIDS.
The study involved over 2,000 women in Africa.
Philip Goulder, study lead author and a professor at Oxford University, said, “Overall we are bringing down the ability of HIV to cause AIDS so quickly. But it would be overstating it to say HIV has lost its potency — it’s still a virus you wouldn’t want to have.”
According to the estimates, nearly 35 million people are currently infected with HIV and around 40 million people have been killed due to AIDS since it started spreading 30 years ago.
It is for the first time in the history of the epidemic that the researchers found the lowering of number of new HIV infections annually in comparison to the number of HIV positives added to those people who are receiving treatment. This clearly suggests that a crucial tipping point has been reached in the reduction of deaths from AIDS.
The study was conducted in Botswana and South Africa where the researchers’ team enrolled over 2,000 HIV positive women. Both the countries are badly hit by AIDS.
“HIV adaptation to the most effective immune responses we can make against it comes at a significant cost to its ability to replicate. Anything we can do to increase the pressure on HIV in this way may allow scientists to reduce the destructive power of HIV over time,” Goulder said.
The study’s findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday.