Incurable sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and herpes could be cured with stem cell treatment, according to experts.
Promising results from clinical trials have shown the cells – collected from umbilical cords and bone marrow – can cure the life-changing diseases.
Recently, two men with HIV who were being treated for cancer at a hospital in Boston were found to have no traces of the disease in their bodies after stem cell therapy.
Around 10% of the UK have the incurable herpes type two virus which causes painful sores on genitals.
The STD, which has serious long-term risks like encephalitis and pregnancy complications, could soon have a cure thanks to the new research.
Scientists have been using radical techniques like gene-editing along with stem cell research to try and cure the STDs which have already shown promising results in treating a huge amount of diseases, from HIV to chlamydia.
The new hope comes as an inquiry is due to start into the contaminated blood scandal next week
The inquiry, which begins on Monday, will investigate the treatment of thousands of people in the 1970s and 1980s who were given blood products infected with hepatitis viruses and HIV.
Mark Hall, spokesman for the UK’s stem cell bank StemProtect.co.uk, said: “It really is incredible to see the breadth of research focusing on using stem cells for life-changing treatments, and it is heartening to see that there is hope for those with previously incurable sexually transmitted diseases.
“Of course, we also advocate for better sex education, both at schools and in the wider public, to help curb the spread of STDs.
“There are a generation of people who remember the fear surrounding the AIDS epidemic in the eighties and had these messages drilled into them, but there are plenty of younger people who don’t have the same cultural reference point.
“We need to ensure that – while stem cell research is promising and an exciting leap for medicine – young people are given the education to make informed decisions about safer sex.”
Source : dailystar