HIV Vulernable Spot

Essay by tsapphireHigh School, 11th gradeB+, February 2013

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Cures or vaccines have not been encountered to treat many diseases in this world. In my opinion, coming up with a cure or a vaccine for diseases such as HIV/AIDS is a top priority. This disease has expanded (comes from the Latin words pandere, pansus which means spread) throughout the world over the years. The earliest well documented case of HIV in human dates back to 1959 in the Congo (*8). Many HIV-positive people are unaware that they are infected with the virus (*7). I believe this because, by finding a cure or a vaccine, we are saving people's lives; we might be minimizing the amount of poverty; and advanced scientific discoveries can lead to more discoveries that can hopefully cure other diseases.

Scientists have been trying to come across out how some people who's infected by the HIV could develop immensely powerful immune responses towards this virus.

A while back, two HIV-infected women from KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa were discovered to have assembled broadly neutralizing antibodies. They were involved in a lot of lab studies until a discovery was made.

Researchers have found out that a form of sugar called glycan in a specific location on the protein coat that shields the virus is a weak spot which enables the body to attack effectively using broadly neutralizing antibodies. The virus that caused the initial infection did not have this vulnerable spot. But due to the immune responses, the virus mutated in order to survive and one of the mutations is the virus has an outer coat, which is composed of the sugar that created the vulnerable spot. The creation of this unguarded spots leads to the creation of antibodies that can fight it.

Scientists have not end their research in order to find cures to...