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Encouraging results in early tests of gene therapy for HIV

November 06, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Researchers are excited about some new developments in the fight against AIDS. A potential new gene therapy for H-I-V tested so well that a more extensive trial is getting under way.

Four patients saw their immune system get stronger, while one had a sustained decrease in the amount of H-I-V, the virus causing AIDS.

The next step is expanding the testing to more patients, including some whose H-I-V is controlled by drugs. They'll get more than one transfusion of the treated cells, then be asked to stop their normal drug treatment to see if the infection returns.

While there's much optimism, one researcher cautions there's still much more work to do, and gene therapy might not work for all patients.

The study appears in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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