"I remember lying in bed thinking, I am going to die. I'm going to die. And I remember thinking, and I know exactly what it is," HIV sufferer John Paul Womble says.
But this machine could help clean John Paul's infected blood … and keep him healthier longer.
"It's designed to mimic the natural immune response of clearing viruses and toxins before cells and organs can be infected," says Jim Joyce, chairman & CEO of Aethlon Medical, manufacturers of the Hemopurifier.
The Hemopurifier works like a dialysis machine. In fact, it fits right into pre-existing dialysis machines. Antibodies on these spaghetti-like fibers capture and remove viruses as blood filters through it.
"Your entire circulation flows through the dialysis machine once every eight minutes," Joyce says.
The entire cleaning process takes just a few hours. It could help patients infected with HIV and hepatitis C. Researchers are also working to see if the Hemopurifier can help cancer patients. Latest tests show it removes particles that inhibit the ability of the immune system to combat cancer.
"The cartridge is able to selectively capture the virus," Joyce says.
Larger machines would be used in a hospital, but smaller ones could be taken to emergencies. It could be a life-safer against the avian flu or bio-weapons like Ebola and small pox … giving people a chance to survive a deadly attack, whether it's from a terrorist or a virus.
"I don't have to be afraid. I have a virus. I've got to do something about that virus. I've got to treat that virus. I've got to live as healthy as I can, but this virus is not going to control me," Womble says.
For diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, patients would use the Hemopurifier repeatedly, just like dialysis patients. The device is still being tested, but could be in hospitals in the next two years.
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