Researchers at University of Melbourne have identified a unique way that can treat HIV infections in women - cow's milk.
The researchers, led by Marit Kramski, found that when a pregnant cow is injected with HIV proteins, the first milk that it produces after the birth is rich in antibodies that can protect the newborn calf against the disease.
The researchers hope to test the milk for safety so that they can use it to produce cream which can protect women from contracting the disease during sex.
Kramski said that though condoms are a cheap and easy way to be protected from the infection, the high number of cases means that they are not an option for everyone. "We think the antibodies bind to the surface of the virus and blocks the protein which needs to be freed to get in contact with human cells — like a key and lock system. If the key's not accessible or you change the key, you can't open the door. It's a very cheap and easy way to produce a lot of antibodies", Kramski said.