Cats Could Lead the Way to an HIV Vaccine

the daily dish More on PawNation: AIDS, Cats, Feline AIDS, FIV, Health, HIV

By Jane A Kelley

When I was a teenager, the world was just starting to become aware of AIDS. I read stories and saw photos of AIDS-infected people dying from cancers and opportunistic infections, and it was made even more frightening by the fact that there was no known cure or treatment for the disease. AIDS was a terrifying specter for me and for many teenagers who were just coming into awareness of our sexuality. It was also the subject of horrible homophobic jokes by my peers.

Around the same time, scientists discovered the feline immunodeficiency virus, which had a similarly grisly effect that I saw firsthand. One of my cats became infected with FIV, and I watched him go through the progression of his disease. I took him for his final visit to the vet when his suffering became too much to bear.

RELATED: Let's Talk: How Do You React When Someone Insults Your Cat?

As the years went by, treatment for AIDS and the human immunodeficiency virus that causes the disease improved, and so did the lives of people living with HIV. But nonetheless, people still became permanently disabled or died from the disease.

In the past decade or so, research on the feline immunodeficiency virus has led to some breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV, and the latest news is providing even greater hope for treatment and even a possible vaccine for the disease.

Researchers from the University of Florida and the University of California at San Francisco, have discovered that a protein in the feline immunodeficiency virus produces an immune response in the blood of patients with HIV.

How did they do it? They used T-cells -- white blood cells that are a major part of the human immune system -- from HIV-positive humans to see whether they would produce an anti-HIV activity when exposed to small regions of the FIV protein.

RELATED: Why You Should Consider Going to a Professional Cat Groomer

The researchers are now working on developing a T cell-based vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus that could activate an immune response against the FIV vaccine, thereby inducing the human body to produce proteins that could kill the HIV-infected cells. The magic bullet: T peptides, small pieces of protein that trigger the body's T cells to attack cells infected with HIV.

Not all T peptides work the same, though: Some HIV peptides can actually enhance HIV infection, some have no effect at all, and some can lose their effectiveness if the virus changes or mutates. Developing an HIV vaccine will involve finding the right peptides to create a consistent immune response. The feline AIDS virus peptides seem to do just that.

Why do T peptides from the feline immunodeficiency virus work on the human immunodeficiency virus? It starts with genetics. Many species of animals have their own version of an immunodeficiency virus, and each has evolved to be most effective in causing disease in that species. However, since these viruses are all related, it seems that there are peptides that have to stay exactly the same in every version of the virus in order for it to survive at all.

RELATED: I Switched to Cheaper Cat Food, and I Feel Like a Horrible Person

Dr. Jay A. Levy, one of the study's authors, stresses that this does not mean that FIV can infect humans. Instead, he told Medical News Today, "The cat virus resembles the human virus sufficiently so that this cross-reaction can be observed."

The next step for the researchers is to see if these FIV peptides show a reaction against the simian immunodeficiency virus, the version found in monkeys. After that, they can begin clinical trials in humans.

The researchers' findings may also produce an improved FIV vaccine -- a win-win situation!

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003. JaneA dreams of making a great living out of her love for cats.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

I work in HIV protection and study a lot of content about HIV treatments and judgment and this is one of the best published items introducing HIV Aids cure in an purpose mild. Thank you for such an excellent article! and for increasing attention around HIV and FIV!

October 31 2013 at 4:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mariam Baurice

Am from south Africa...i saw this comment on positive blogs and i will love to tell everybody how my status changes to negative, and am now a living witness of it and i think its a shame on me if i don't share this lovely story with other people infected with this deadly virus...,hiv has been ongoing in my family... i lost both parents to hiv,. and it is so much pain ive not been able to get over.. as we all know medically there is no solution to it..and medication is very expensive. So someone introduced me to a native medical practitioner in Africa. I had a job there to execute so i took time to check out on him. I showed him all my tests and results.. i was already diagnosed with hiv and it was already taking its towel on me.. i had spent thousands of dollars so i decided to try him out...i was on his dosage for 6 weeks. although i didn’t believe in it, i was just trying it out of frustration... and after 2 weeks, i went for new tests... and you wont believe that 5 different doctors confirmed it that am negative. It was like a dream,, i never believe aids has cure. Am now negative, am a living witness. I don’t know how to thank this man... i just want to help others in any way i can have joined many forums and have posted this testimonies and alot of people has mail and called this man on phone and after 2 months they all confirmed news took it live and every.. hope he helps you out.. everybody saw it and its now out in papers and magazines that there's native cure for hiv and all with the help of this man,,have tried my own parts and all left with you,,if you like take it or not..god knows have tried my best. About 97 people have been confirmed negative through me..and they send mails to thanks me after they have been confirmed negative, this man is real. Don’t miss this chance,,hiv is a deadly virus, get rid of it now.. DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@HOTMAIL.COM or call +2347067167955

October 12 2013 at 7:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Apostle Shada Mishe


Apostle Shada Mishe

Sir / Madam,
For the past 12 years I have been studying and researching Ambush, a Palm plant extract that is effective in curing HIV.

Name of Plant; Palm

Name of ingredient: Ambush

Molecular weight 640 (similar to the sequisulfides)

Where found: In and around the areas of South Florida where uranium waste was dumped in the 1920's from the nuclear programme that has now leaked out into the water system. A specie of the PALM plant has picked up this waste to be the valuable AMBUSH.

Chemical compd; Uranium isotope (cus.n) Grayish white soft metallic compound NOT found in chemistry books.

Uses: Antiviral DRUG..Ambush

Found to "KILL" the HIV virus when given in a dose of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days at a known concentration.

Mode of action.. Ambush kills the HIV virus by causing the viral shell to rupture . In the lymph system Ambush produces "natural radioactivity" that "kills" the virus that 'hides' in the lymph system . This crosses the blood-brain barrier since the 'patients' claim that they are able to see,hear and think more clearly after taking Ambush.

Viral Loads...This decreases from 100,000 to 'undetectable' in 21 days..... but I have had patients VL go to 'undetectable ' in 5 days.

1. After 5 to 7 days of treatment, patients MAY complain of HEADACHES.
2. After 5 to 7 days male patients experience an increase in erection.
3. Stool becomes soft and REGULAR
4. Patients c/o being WARM in the trunk area mainly at night when lying down.

Toxicology......Before administering to any person a complete toxicological analysis was done to include, arsenic, barbiturates and NO KNOWN poisons or harmful substances to mankind were found.


Skin...becomes clean, smooth and free of eczema or other say they have small eczema patches in the first week that go away by the third week.

Since this is a very LARGE molecule it is excreted relatively unchanged via urine and feces.

After 149 days the patents revert to being HIV NEGATIVE after finishing a course in Ambush hence no one goes public to say they WERE HIV positive.
Pharmacology of Ambush on the GUT of an end stage AIDS person.

It is known that late stage AIDS patients posses a high level of the virus in the GUT which should include the entire GI tract from stomach to rectum. Here the virus is found in the lining and this is difficult for ARV's because these are the areas needed by the ARV's to enter the blood supply. There is not a high enough blood level returning back to the stomach lining hence the virus remains in high concentration.

This causes the person's appetite to decrease which causes a spiraling downhill of the body.

When Ambush is taken in the liquid form, it is slightly basic and forms a stable compound in the acidic stomach.The Ambush compound is close to the stomach lining to exert the "natural radioactivity" effect which kills the virus in the stomach. Here the entire mid section feels very warm and sometimes feverish. The infected stomach lining with the dead areas is then passed out as a black slime in the stool. This usually happens about day 4 while on an Ambush regime of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days, wherein the person has a large bowel movement.

After the bowel movement, the person becomes extremely hungry and eats TWO to THREE times a normal serving. Here I usually recommend cornmeal porridge with butter or cooking oil as a prevention against malnutrition and add a daily multivitamin. By day 10 the stomach has recovered and the person eats normally.


The challenge is to find a Virologist, or Biologist of HIV Researcher who is willing to put some Ambush in a Human culture medium infected with the HIV virus, incubate with proper controls and report their findings to the world.

More info is at or

Thank you for your interest and we will be happy to send you samples and answer any and all questions.

Apostle Shada Mishe
Dallas Texas,
1-972 294 5161

October 10 2013 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kimbo's person

I work in HIV prevention and read a lot of articles about HIV cures and stigma and this is one of the best written pieces presenting HIV in an objective light. Thank you for such a great article! and for raising awareness around HIV and FIV!

October 10 2013 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More than 400 million people living with Herpes in the world. Most of them suffer from the sickness and loneliness. A safe and private social channel, such as ===, is essential for people living with STDs to meet friends, find someone in the same situation to talk and seek soul mate.

October 09 2013 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Around The Web

Who is Cutest?

Like us on Facebook?