Scientists have found a way to prevent HIV from damaging the immune system and say their discovery may offer a new approach to developing a vaccine against AIDS. Researchers from the United States and Europe working in laboratories on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) found it is unable to damage the immune system if cholesterol is removed from the viruss membrane. Its like an army that has lost its weapons but still has flags, so another army can recognise it and attack it, said Adriano Boasso of Imperial College London, who led the study. The team now plans to investigate how to use this way of inactivating the virus and possibly develop it into a vaccine. Usually when a person becomes infected with HIV, the bodys innate immune response puts up an immediate defence. But some researchers believe HIV causes the innate immune system to overreact. IBT