UCLA AIDS Institute scientists have devised a new technique to switch on and drive hibernating HIV from its hiding places in the body. Reported in the September issue of Immunity, the research suggests a possible therapeutic strategy to kill the hidden virus so people who are HIV-positive could eventually stop taking antiretroviral medications.
"Our findings show potential for flushing HIV out of its hiding places in the body," said Dr. Jerome Zack, principal investigator and associate director of basic sciences for the UCLA AIDS Institute. "If our method proves successful, it may enable HIV-infected individuals to discontinue costly and complex antiretroviral therapy, which can cause serious side effects."
"Immune cells cant kill HIV if they cant detect it," said Dr. David Brooks, a postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study. "By switching on an HIV-positive persons dormant virus, we hope to enable the immune system to recognize and eradicate HIV-infected cells before they spread more virus."
Elaine Schmidt | EurekAlert!
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