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Reinvigorating immune system may be key to fighting HIV

Category: HIV

Individuals who have received positive HIV tests may feel as though there is little hope of ever ridding themselves of the disease or of leading a normal life. However, that may not be true. Scientists are increasingly getting closer to finding a cure for the disease.

For example, a team of Australian researchers recently reported that it may be possible to reinvigorate the immune system, allowing it to fight back against infections that it may not have been able to otherwise.

Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute reported in the medical journal Cell that they were able to revive failing immune systems in mice to the point that the test subjects were able to completely clear an HIV-like infection from their systems. They were able to do this by increasing levels of the cell signaling hormone interleukin-7.

"We found that interleukin-7 boosted the immune response in a pretty profound fashion, such that animals were able to gradually clear the virus without too much collateral tissue damage," said Dr. Marc Pellegrini, who led the investigation.

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