AIDS experiments on monkeys show scientists could be one step closer to beating the deadly disease. They have re-worked a version of a naturally occuring immune system protein that can protect female monkeys against the virus.Two scientists have pioneered the research and hope it will lead to new methods of preventing infection in people. Professor Robin Offord from Geneva University in Switzerland said: “This material, if it works successfully in humans as we hope, will prevent infections.” “Studies have shown that in developing countries which is where 95 percent of the problem is, a material of this kind, even if it was 65 percent effective, will be likely to save three and a half million lives in the first three years of its use.” An estimated 43 million people have the incurable virus. Some 14,000 people become infected every day. People living in sub-Saharan Africa are most at risk. Scientists hope their findings will enable them to create a sort of AIDS barrier cream to help stamp out the deadly virus.