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At the recent International Congress on AIDS, Japanese researchers introduced a new HIV drug that blocks out the AIDS virus before it enters human cells. Known as AK602, the drug acts by attaching itself to the protein that serves as the virus' entryway into human cells. Whereas other AIDS medications lose their effectiveness when the virus develops a resistance to them, AK602 acts by addressing the human cells rather than the virus. Clinical trials were conducted on 40 US patients with AIDS who took 0.02 oz of AK602 bid for 10 days. The resulting percentage of HIV viruses dropped to an average of 1%. The researchers noted no reported side effects.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.