In the age of Blu-Ray and Hulu, maybe DVDs are becoming less relevant. But researchers have just made a crazy invention with one: a device that simply and quickly detects HIV.
A team from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm turned a DVD drive into a laser scanning microscope that can accurately analyze blood and perform cellular imaging. That means it can test for HIV--and spit back results in minutes.
Attempts to create a vaccine for HIV have failed time and again partly because no one has been able to achieve the right vaccine balance — one that can spur the body into action, but not make a person sick. A new study in monkeys suggests a new solution: Vaccines could be more effective if they can be made to linger in the body.
In a milestone announcement, today the FDA approved the use of Truvada, the first drug to be used for HIV prevention in the 30-plus year battle against the virus. To be used as part of safe sex practices and continued testing, the drug, which was first approved in 2004, has already shown promise in preventing infection, with some figures placing protection rates as high as 90 percent.
It's no cure, but it could mark a significant victory in the fight against HIV. A 17-member advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration has endorsed an over-the-counter HIV test that would allow consumers to test themselves for the AIDS-causing virus in the privacy of their own homes in just 20 minutes.