Gene therapy seems safe, may help control HIV

Researchers have modified genes in the blood cells of a dozen HIV patients to help them resist the AIDS virus, and say the treatment seems safe and promising.

The results give hope that this approach might one day free at least some people from needing medicines to keep HIV under control, a form of cure.

The treatment is aimed at imitating the natural immunity to HIV that some people have because of a gene. In the study, researchers removed some of the HIV patients' blood cells, altered them in the lab to mimic what the gene does, and infused them back into the patients. The treatment seems safe and there are signs the new cells are resistant to infection with HIV.

Results are in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.