TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Researchers at the University of Hong Kong made a new discovered that could be a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV.

The research team in an experiment using mice is offering hope for patients with HIV after they had discovered something that is being called a “functional cure” for the HIV virus.

“The mice have all the human immune cells in their body, so that they can support the real AIDS virus infection in the body,” said Chen Zhiwei, Director of the AIDS Institute at the University of Hong Kong.

It’s an antibody that acts against all forms of HIV. It’s a major advance as right now, no vaccine exists to treat its many varieties.

“We hope the antibody can help not only control the viruses in the body, but help eliminate already infected cells,” said Chen.

Though the antibody doesn’t completely eliminate the virus from the body, it keeps levels low enough to be virtually undetectable.

Another good thing about the treatment is that the doses could be taken less often than current medications, which can require daily doses.

“We can do every three months one injection for clinical use,” said Chen. “So this way we can basically benefit patients, in a way we reduce the cost, at the same time you actually can make the drug functioning longer in the body.”

More testing and clinical trials are needed, which means another three to five years before it’s available to consumers.

The new finding is encouraging, for more than 36 million HIV patients living with the disease around the world.