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Microwave technology used in fight against AIDS
Electromagnetic treatment may stop viral replication

Durban (pte033/04.04.2003/13:18) - Experiments using a new technology in the fight against AIDS will begin next week in Durban, South Africa, at the Nelson Mandela Medical School of the University of Natal .

In clinical test on 360 HIV-positive patients, researchers will examine the effect of microwaves on the deadly virus. Scientists hope electromagnetic treatment with a device that emits radio waves will stop the virus from duplicating itself. The emission is approximately equal to that of a mobile phone, said director of the medical department Umesh Lalloo . The experiments are to be concluded by the end of the year. The tests will be conducted without any additional medication or vaccinations.

The experiment is based on the hypothesis that the electromagnetic frequency could cause breaks in the viral genome, which may prevent it from replicating itself.

The procedure was developed by Russian scientists and perfected by South African researchers. According to the technical firm Hivex which is preparing the experiments, it has never been tested under scientifically controlled conditions. Both Hivex and BAE Systems, a British armaments group which helped finance the study with 3m dollars, have emphasized their independence.

Umesh Lalloo said all patients would be extensively informed about the experiments, and the fact that the positive effects of the new therapy are still purely speculative. The research is being evaluated by the ethics committee of the university, which includes medical experts from South Africa, the USA, Canada and Hungary.

In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where the university is located, an estimated third of the population is infected with the HIV virus.

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