Drug could expose HIV reservoirs and enable elimination

Currently, there is no treatment to remove HIV from the cells; a group of researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University in Denmark has found exceptional ability to reactivate HIV in a substance otherwise being developed for cancer treatmentWhen HIV activated the cells habouring the virus become visible and vulnerable to the body’s immune system.

Worldwide, approximately 33 million people are infected with HIV and a possible treatment against HIV thus has huge economic and human perspectives. The Danish Council for Strategic Research programme committee on individuals, disease and society has granted MDKK 12 over the next three years to a research team from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University to initiate the first trials to find a real treatment against HIV.Today, HIV infection is treated with a combination of drugs blocking virus activity but not eliminating the infection.

This means that people living with HIV receive lifelong treatment with side effects, psycho-social and health-economic consequences.A new group of drugs, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors currently developed to treat leukaemia, has caught the interest of researchers because of their ability to unmask the HIV-infected cells which do not respond to standard HIV treatment

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