A New Wave of HIV Anti-retroviral Therapy?

Scientists from across the world have done research on what appears to be a promising addition to the different forms of HIV Anti-retroviral therapy.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS, and is at the forefront of research in many fields.  One of the most interesting topics of research is anti-retroviral therapy (ART) implemented in HIV positive patients in order to reduce the effect of the virus.

The newest breakthrough entails using snake and insect venom as a form of ART. A major component in bee venom inhibits replication of both CXCR4 and CCR5 HIV-1 in human CD4 cells. Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), which is found in the venom of many snakes, has been shown to block viral entry into cells.

The exact mechanism, whether enzymatic or simply competing for a binding site, is still in the process of being worked out.  Aside from this, the most important details have shown promising signs for the field of research dedicated to HIV treatment.

This discussion further reiterates the needs and necessity for regular, comprehensive STD testing.  If everybody got tested for STDs on a regular basis, the incidence of HIV (among other STDs) would be considerably lower.  Testing is simple, and should be done (as according to the CDC) every six months to one year, or in between sexual partners.

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