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Researchers may have discovered a technique that will eventually lead to a way to vaccinate against the AIDS virus, by creating an artificial antibody carried into the body by a virus.
This synthetic immune system molecule protected monkeys against an animal version of HIV called SIV, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine.
While it will be years before the concept could be tested in humans, it opens up the possibility of protecting people against the fatal and incurable virus.
"Six of nine immunized monkeys were protected against infection by the SIV challenge, and all nine were protected from AIDS," Philip Johnson of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and colleagues wrote.