Possible cure for HIV, probably also HepB ? CRISP

Hi @hepb1

This is a “gene editing” strategy that is being looked at for both HIV and HBV. Theoretically, it could work to destroy the HIV provirus (the part in the cellular genome), the HBV cccDNA, and the HBV integrated DNA.

HOWEVER, the technical challenges to getting this done are enormous. It requires delivering a foreign protein from bacteria into every single cell that contains HBV or HIV. That is a near impossibility, and expression of the foreign protein comes with its own problems (what happens if T-cells recognize the foreign protein and kill too many hepatocytes for HBV or too many neuronal glial cells for HIV?). So this has huge theoretical potential and it is very much worthwhile to continue research into this technology, but I strongly feel the barriers are so high to success that it has essentially zero chance ever be deployed against either HIV or HBV unless there are massive technological advances.


Yes, I agree with @john.tavis. There is the additional complicating factor of integrated HBV DNA. When you cut this, you are essentially cutting the body’s own DNA, which can be repaired but can also cause rearrangements in the genome. Some DNA rearrangements can be associated with cancer, so it’s important to know to what the risk to benefit ratio is for people treated with these types of therapies.