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Gene Therapy for Controlling HIV Shows Early Promise

Small study hints treatment could someday help patients fight AIDS virus without drugs

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According to the World Health Organization, most people living with the disease globally do not have access to the current treatments.

But Johnston said she believes that if scientists can develop an effective gene therapy, others would find a way to get it to people living with HIV.

"I'm optimistic," she said. "For many years, people didn't think it would ever be possible to cure HIV. Now the question is no longer, 'Is it possible?' It's 'How are we going to do it?'"

The study was partly funded by Richmond, Calif.-based Sangamo BioSciences, which is developing the zinc-finger nuclease technology used in the research. Several co-researchers on the work are employees of the company.

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