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PSU Virus Discovery Could Impact HIV Drug Research

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 

Photo credit: iStock

New discoveries of a virus could lead to better drugs for treating HIV, Portland State University research revealed. 

Biology professor Ken Stedman and his team unlocked the structure of a virus that only lives in volcanic hot springs and is similar to HIV, according to PSU.

“Understanding the structure of a virus is important for developing drugs,” Stedman said in a media statement. “The HIV virus mutates very fast once it infects the body, which makes it challenging to treat. By knowing the structure of the virus, we’ll have a better understanding of how to inactivate it.”

The virus similar to HIV was gathered by Stedman’s team in a hot acidic spring in Japan, but Steadman said it is found all over the world. 

“It used to be thought that HIV was the only kind of virus with this structure,” Stedman said in a media statement. “We now know this is not the case.”

Over 25 million people worldwide are living with HIV. AIDS, the final stage of an HIV infection has killed 36 million people since the epidemic began in 1981, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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