Sounds complicated. Story here.
Treating HIV/AIDS with a combination of antiviral drugs and chemotherapy seems to destroy both the circulating virus and immune cells in which the virus hides, a team of Canadian and U.S. researchers has found.
In Sunday's online issue of the journal Nature Medicine, Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly of the University of Montreal and his colleagues report finding cells where HIV hides from existing treatments.
Anti-AIDS therapies known as highly active anti-retroviral treatments, or HAART, target the virus's replication process but have been hampered by these reservoirs of immune system cells hiding the virus.
Once HIV becomes hidden in an immune cell, it needs the cell to live. Destroying those immune cells could allow for the hidden parts of the dormant virus that escape from existing HAART treatments to be eliminated.
"For the first time, this study proves that the HIV reservoirs are not due to a lack of potency of the anti-retroviral drugs, but to the virus hiding inside two different types of long-life … immune [memory] cells," Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy, a hematologist with the McGill University Health Centre, said in a release.
"There are several types of HIV reservoirs, each necessitating a different treatment to eliminate them." . . .
(My friend in Canada sent me this.)