Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Font Size

Designer Drug Bites HIV Achilles' Heel


Kim also hopes that the 5-Helix strategy could be used to create an AIDS vaccine. This is because the molecule mimics the HIV Achilles' heel -- a crucial part of the virus normally hidden from the immune system. This crucial target becomes exposed just as the virus prepares to attack. Antibodies against 5-Helix also might attack this structure.

"The notion here is that antibodies against the HIV envelope have not proven very effective, because the virus can rapidly mutate and escape neutralization," Kim explains. "However, there are regions of the envelope that [the virus cannot afford to mutate], but those are normally buried deep inside. But during the [infection] process, these conserved regions become exposed.

"We and others have been interested for some time in coming up with [vaccines] that would elicit antibody responses against these highly conserved regions. 5-Helix might represent one way to do that," he says.

Kim and Hunter both note that 5-Helix is not yet ready for testing. "I personally look at this much more as proof of concept than as a lead molecule for drug discovery," Hunter says.

Kim soon may be in a position to change this. Beginning next month, he will move to a new job: head of worldwide research and development for pharmaceutical giant Merck.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore