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Positive HIV tests may soon become a thing of the past, as researchers from the Oregon Health and Sciences University report that they have a developed a vaccine for the virus that has shown promising results in laboratory monkeys.
The researchers reported in the journal Nature that more than half of the animals that were given the vaccine and then infected with the monkey form of immunodeficiency virus were able to completely clear the virus from their systems.
Furthermore, many of those that were given the vaccine after they were infected were able to completely eliminate the virus from their bodies. This represents a major advancement over currently available treatment options. Antiretroviral therapies can slow the progression of HIV, but they are still unable to completely clear the infection.
The vaccine works by combining pieces of HIV and another less harmful virus. When the body's immune system registers this material, it begins making antibodies against both viruses.
The researchers said that they are currently considering the possibility of testing their vaccine in humans who have received positive HIV tests. This could mark a major milestone in the battle against the potentially deadly virus.
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