The trials — which they call a novel strategy — strip the HIV from human DNA and allow the immune system to destroy it, The Telegraph reports.
The method worked in earlier lab tests. Researchers hope that will transfer over to the ongoing human field tests. The technique removes HIV from the reservoirs it creates inside human DNA and forces it to the surface of each cell. Once there, the infected person’s own immune system — boosted by a vaccine — can destroy the virus.
The early experiments went so well that the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million kroner ($2.1 million) to continue their work. Dr. Ole Sogaard — the lead researcher — says the early human trials are promising.
“I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV,” Sogaard said. “The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”
The first human trial consists of 15 patients who are HIV-positive. If they are cured, then the test will widen to a greater number of patients.