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August 12, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Biophysical test shows lots of promise

A NEW biophysical test that is able to detect latent chronic infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C will undergo clinical testing in two or three years for preventative treatments, medical experts told the International Forum on City and Health yesterday in Shanghai.

According to virologist Luc Montagnier, the first to isolate the HIV virus and a Nobel Laureate, scientists have detected signals in the blood of patients with chronic viral infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and C as well as those with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

These signals may precede the irreversible clinical phase of such diseases and therefore prevent the development of the disease, experts said.

"The new test also can detect viral DNA in the plasma of AIDS patients, who have received therapy and have no detectable HIV virus load in the blood," Montagnier said. "The new treatment is aimed at eradicating HIV infection."

As the director of the International Foundation of AIDS Prevention and Research under the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Montagnier said the major public health challenges for the 21st century are infectious diseases and cancer.

The forum ended yesterday.


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