Recruiting for a new gene therapy with the potential to immunize people against HIV began on Tuesday. The first group to received the treatment will be HIV-positive patients with drug resistance problems.
"We do have good treatments for HIV. That has been one of the most successful stories of the last 20 years in medicine," said Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania.
"However, over time, if the medications are not taken properly, individuals develop resistance to the HIV treatments, so they tend to have more limited therapeutic options."
The new treatment attempts to make people resistant to HIV by manipulating CCR5, a gene that makes most vulnerable to infection. A small group of people have mutated CCR5, making them resistant to the disease, which served as inspiration for the therapy.