Unlike a number of other deadly viruses, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency viruses are almost entirely avoidable. However, once they take hold the result can be fatal. Even during therapy the virus can literally hide inside healthy immune cells and simply wait. Imagine a zombie virus that takes years to fully develop; quietly infecting survivors of the apocalypse via risky behavior that’s virtually impossible to confirm or test.

For example; if only tobacco users or vegetarians carried the undead virus, would you allow either into your community – even if they showed no symptoms? Would you even know if they were lying? Thanks to a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh, this is a dilemma that zombie researchers may no longer have to consider. Scientists have finally developed an HIV immunotherapy that not only kicks the virus out of hiding, but also kills it permanently!

Inclusion of virus-associated MHC class II ‘helper’ antigens in MDC1-based HIV-1 immunotherapies could serve both as a targeted means to safely unmask antigen-specific CD4+ T cells harboring HIV-1, and to support CTL responses that can effectively target the MDC1-exposed HIV-1 cellular reservoir as a functional cure strategy.

Obviously, the official interpretation that we’ve quoted above is a little clinical. But basically, they’ve developed a therapeutic strategy to safely “kick” and “kill” the latent HIV virus hiding in otherwise healthy cells. If properly applied to the inevitable zombie virus, this research can vastly improve humanity’s chance of survival. After all, those who are knowingly infected by the zombie plague, or engage in risky behavior, would rarely offer that information willingly.

Try searching for the word “infected” in any of the Wikipedia articles for The Walking Dead franchise, comic book, or television series. You simply won’t find anything that explains the real epidemiology of such an epidemic, because the true cause is being hidden from you! It’s as if the zombie virus simply sprang from nowhere, and now we simply have to deal with it.

The same is true of real-life epidemics; the recent outbreak of measles in the United States isn’t really due to “measles parties” or unvaccinated children. After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially announced the final eradication of measles in 2000. But they allude to the truth when they mention that “importations of measles into the United States continue to occur, posing risks for measles outbreaks and sustained measles transmission.”

Importation is the key phrase here, and survivors of the zombie apocalypse should take note. As the famed Greek physician Hippocrates declared; an epidemic is a deadly disease that is “visited upon” a population, while an endemic “resides within” the population. So, when is the last time that you’ve heard the media mention a true endemic disease versus an epidemic?

Thankfully, this study published by the University of Pittsburgh provides a way of detecting, chasing out, and ultimately killing the latent zombie virus from those who would otherwise deceive survivors and our communities. For more information we suggest you read “Type 1-programmed dendritic cells drive antigen-specific latency reversal and immune elimination of persistent HIV-1” currently available online at EBioMedicine as published by The Lancet.

Of course, if you’d like to know how this therapy is currently being developed to discourage those infected with HIV and AIDS from taking their usual daily medications, simply swing by Futurism for even more information. After all; what you don’t know can eat and infect you!

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