Way to find hidden HIV-infected cells revealed

Danish researchers said on Tuesday they had been able to activate hidden HIV-infected cells using a cancer drug, making it easier to then kill the virus in the body.

The findings, made in a clinical trial by scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark, were announced at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, which began on Sunday.

HIV is known to hibernate in so-called “reservoirs” in the body, and re-emerge to infect patients. Romidepsin, a drug used to treat rare lymphomas, was administered to six HIV-positive outpatients on antiretroviral therapy at the university hospital.

“We have now shown that we can activate a hibernating virus with Romidepsin and that the activated virus moves into the bloodstream in large amounts,” the researchers said in a statement.

Senior researcher Ole Sogaard told reporters the team found a significant release of viral cells in five of the six patients after administering the drug.

“The data is enough to say it was successful to kick the virus out of the cells,” he said.

Their work in pinning down the reservoirs is part of a larger study into the possibilities of combining the activation of the virus and a vaccine to strengthen the immune system of patients.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 2:22:44 PM |

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