Saturday, November 23, 2013

HIV Could Be Mankind’s Greatest Gift

HIV Could Be Mankind’s Greatest Gift
Since the 1980′s the epidemic of HIV has become widely publicized, and highly feared by the public. The virus has claimed the lives of countless people all around the world, and continues to do so each and every day. It is the type of virus that does not care about social class, wealth, or any other type of factor. We have so feared the spread of the virus that we continue every day to avoid it if possible, and study it for a chance to cure it. But what if this deadly virus was less like a plague on humanity, and more like a blessing in disguise? What if we were able to turn Mother Nature’s most potent weapon into a tool to do good things in this world?

HIV Mankind's Greatest Gift
The HIV virus can be genetically modified to attack specific cells in the human body rather than wreaking it’s normal havoc on our immune system.
Doctors have been searching for HIV and AIDS a cure for a while, and for the most part have only been able to help contain the virus’ growth. There have been reports recently of anti-fungal creams being used to help the spread of the HIV virus, and also combat it. Additionally there have also been recent studies in primates where the HIV virus has been genetically modified to fight itself in the infected primate’s bodies. This all leads to hope for those who are infected with this aggressive virus, and can help prolong the life and health of infected people.
While some doctors and scientists have been studying how to cure the HIV virus, others have been figuring out how to use its potent abilities to their advantage. There have been doctors who have been genetically modifying the virus in order to turn its greatest strengths into a weapon to combat diseases such as cancer. Unlike other treatments, such as Chemo, HIV cells can be modified to target only specific cell types. The T-Cells in the human body generally fight diseases for us, but are also shut off by the HIV virus. When the HIV Virus is re-programmed to attack other cells, like cancer rather than T-Cells, it can be used as a weapon to cure other diseases. The unfortunate side effect is that the patient who is infected with the genetically modified HIV will still have the HIV virus to deal with after their original illness has hopefully been cured. While this sounds like a horrible side effect, the clinical patients that this treatment are being experimented on are facing death as their only other option.
So far the treatment of cancer with the HIV virus has not proven to be widely successful, but it does give hope that diseases and viruses can be turned against themselves using genetic modification. Many people may be protesting the genetic modification of foods and animals due to perceived long-term health risks, but in laboratories all around the globe there are scientists modifying DNA of one disease in hopes of using it to fight off another.
You may not be looking to get a deadly disease to help you fight the flu or a common cold, but you might be willing to take it on if that means that instead of dying in a short period of time from something that has spread out of control, you could live a longer and healthier life. Those patients who’s cancer has been cured by genetically engineered HIV are more than grateful that doctors took the risk of getting them an alternative treatment. Now that their cancer is gone, they can focus on containing their newly welcomed infection and live a more peaceful life.

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