HIV-1 Detection by Western Blot and Stem Cell Therapy

By Bridgette Bowyer

The idea of the project was to get an understanding of how HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) affects the body, how we can detect it, and how we can treat it using modern medicine. Throughout the project, I researched the virus at the molecular level and its composition, how HIV affects our overall immunological health, and how it affects the lifestyle of those with the virus. After I had a clear understanding of the virus itself, I performed a lab which detects HIV and can be used to detect other viruses called a Western Blot Analysis. A Western Blot is a test scientists use to test if a person is infected with a virus based off the molecular weight of cells in the patient’s sample. After I successfully performed the lab, I went on to research how we treated patients with HIV in the past and compared the information to how we’re combating the virus today. I found that stem cell therapy is a very effective form of treatment and is one of the new medical breakthroughs that’s becoming popular among facilities that have the resources to use stem cell therapy to treat patients with HIV. I also discovered that through stem cell therapy, two people in the world have been cured of HIV. This was my favorite project to research, and I can’t wait to get into the field to apply my knowledge.

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