Dr Picker and his team claim to have made a significant breakthrough in treating the disease, which has claimed a staggering 25 million lives throughout the world.
Dr. Louis Picker is associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute.
After close to a decade of intensive research, Dr. Louis Picker and his team at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) have recently made public that they are in an advanced stage in developing what looks like a highly promising vaccine for the effective treatment of HIV/AIDS.
According to Dr. Picker the vaccine, when administered, displays an exceptionally strong ability to eradicate completely a virus known as the simian immunodeficiency (SIV), which is a very aggressive form of HIV. SIV is known to have led the development of AIDS in monkeys, which many medical experts claim eventually spread to humans.
To date tested only on monkeys, the vaccine has proved to have brought very positive results in around half in of the monkeys that were tested. These results were positive enough that they could lead to the development of vaccines to treat humans. According to Dr. Picker the new vaccine would be capable of both preventing the onset of HIV/AIDS and, under certain circumstances, completely cure AIDS sufferers who are in a form of remission due to be treated by anti-retroviral drugs.
Antiretroviral drugs, while providing an effective release from the face of the effects of the HIV/AIDS syndrome, are recognized within the medical profession as being capable of completely clearing the virus from the body. There is a general consensus within the medical profession that the HIV/AIDS virus can only be contained, but never completely cured. Doctors treating AIDS patients typically aim at improving the immune response as best they can for as long as they can.
However thanks to Dr. Picker and his team at OHSU , that consensus is about to be invalidated, with the results of long running tests giving a very strong indication that SIV sufferers could be totally cured of the disease.
Dr Picker also goes on the assumption that because SIV is a much more aggressive form of virus than HIV, capable of replicating up to 100 times faster. If it remains undiagnosed, the SIV virus can cause the onset of AIDS within as soon as two years.
However, it was observed that when treated with the vaccine developed by Dr. Picker and his team, the state of health of half of the monkeys that initially showed all of the signs of being infected with the virus, gradually began to make a recovery and within two years have been completely cured. The reason being that the vaccine generated an immunoresponse capable of consistently targeting the SIV-infected cells until the virus was cleared from the body.
While there are currently other vaccines on the market capable of generating immunoresponse, these responses have without exception figures over a period of time fades over time.
Where the vaccine developed by Dr. Picker appears to vary is that it allows the immunoresponse to remain at a consistent level, consequently eroding the strength of the virus, till it eventually eliminates entirely from the system, an effect that no other AIDS treatment vaccine has shown before.
In the meantime Dr. Picker and his research team are continuing to investigate the reason why around half of the SIV infected animals have failed to respond positively to the treatment, in the hope that they will be capable increasing the efficacy of the vaccine” to as close as 100%.
Louis Picker graduated from UCLA with a bachelor of science in bacteriology in 1978 going on to take his M.D. degree at the University of California at San Francisco, which he completed in 1982.
After resident training in pathology at the Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, and postdoctoral training in immunology at the highly regarded Stanford University Medical Center, Dr. Picker was appointed Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
In 1999 Dr. Picker joined Oregon Health and Science University and is associate department the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) as professor of pathology/molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine as well as taking up the role of head of the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology department.