With HIV cases increasing in the Rio Grande Valley, UTRGV is currently working on a new innovative drug to crackdown on the virus. It is all part of a grant from the National Institute of Health that awarded the university about $430,000 to research on an anti-HIV drug.

“The patient who is suffering from this disease do not have proper access to health care so this gives us the opportunity to do something to generate out next generation of HIV drugs,” Dr. Upal Roy from the UTRGV Department of Health and Biomedical Science, said.

According to Dr. Roy, the research will develop a molecule that will combine with a type of cell found throughout the brain. The anti-HIV drug will directly target certain inflammatory parts of the brain where the virus lives.

“This will be much cheaper and with far less side effects,” he explained. “The patient will keep this drug in a much longer interval and that will improve the life of these patients. UTRGV will be leading with this invention.”

Dr. Roy said with the uptick in number of people living in the Valley with HIV, more patients are looking for proper medication locally—since current medication is not strong or effective to treat these patients. Making this drug cost effective, but also improve the quality of life for the people that are living with the virus.