Trinity researchers have discovered how HIV bypasses the immune system, offering hope to those affected by the disease.
The research, led by Assistant Professor in Immunology at Trinity, Nigel Stevenson, shows that HIV prevents the body’s immune system from defending itself against the virus, and inhibits the clearing of other viruses and infections.
Stevenson said in a press statement that the “revelation sheds new light on how HIV avoids elimination, which, in turn, may explain why HIV is still not a curable disease”.
Current ways of dealing with the disease, known as therapeutic treatments, don’t fully remove HIV from the body, but rather prevent the virus from developing into AIDS. The Trinity researchers explored whether HIV was somehow blocking how the body calls the immune system for a response.
Over 40 million people across the world are affected by the incurable virus.
“We feel this discovery could mark a paradigm shift in our understanding of how this virus evades our immune response. It should open the door to a new era of HIV research aiming to cure and eradicate this deadly virus”, Stevenson continued.
The research was published in the international journal EBioMedicine.