Scientists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a drug that may lead to a cure for HIV.
Professors Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler created a peptide which causes HIV cells to break up, without damaging other cells. This peptide, or small protein, is the main ingredient in the drug, named Gammora.
The current treatment for HIV involves a variety of drugs that slow down the virus's ability to replicate itself, but do not eliminate it.
In a lab test at the Kaplan Medical Centre in Rehovot, the new drug appeared to diminish the HIV virus count in blood samples by 97 per cent over an eight-day period. The drug has yet to be put through clinical trials, however.
Speaking to Israel's Channel 2, Prof Loyter said: "With our approach we eliminate the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day, because there will be no cells that contain the virus."
According to the current estimates, approximately 40 million people in the world have either HIV or Aids. According to the UK's Pink News, the current cost of a lifetime's treatment for HIV is £380,000.