The findings suggest that using infusion of broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) as a prevention strategy potentially could protect people at high risk for HIV transmission.
The study, published in the journal Nature, was led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health, and The Rockefeller University in New York.
In the study, the researchers rectally exposed macaques to weekly low doses of simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), which contains components of HIV and a related monkey virus.
On average, it took three weeks for detectable levels of virus to appear in the blood of untreated animals.
To investigate whether bNAb infusion could offer long-term protection against SHIV infection, the scientists gave single infusions of one of three individual bNAbs against HIV to three groups of six macaques, then exposed the animals weekly to low doses of SHIV.