A new HIV/AIDS drug has provided vaccine-like protection in monkeys, scientists announced Wednesday. Those injected with the prototype drug were able to fight off four times the normal amount of the animal version of HIV, providing “very, very strong protection,” according to the study’s leader, Michael Farzan of the Scripps Research Institute in Florida. Imitation receptors injected into monkeys trick the virus into launching docking procedures early, preventing it from latching onto cells in the immune system. The virus can only do this once, and after then it’s harmless. The monkeys who received treatment continued to be “protected from eight times and 16 times the infectious dose, more than a year after inoculation,” Farzan said.
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