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Natural compound to block HIV

23rd April 2007

Researchers in Germany have discovered a compound occurring naturally in the blood which could form the basis for a new kind of drug to fight HIV/AIDS.

The chemical blocks the HIV virus from entering human immune cells and is effective against drug-resistant strains of HIV.

One of the researchers, Frank Kirchhoff of the University of Ulm said a number of studies had already identified these types of compound, which were able to inhibit and control the HIV-1 virus in the bloodstream.

The newly discovered compound is known as Virus-Inhibitory Peptide, or VIRIP, and it stops the HIV virus from anchoring itself in immune cells.

Researchers hope it could pave the way for a new class of drugs, as no existing drug is able to affect HIV at this stage in its development in the body.

 

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