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Can HIV be Killed?

May 31, 2004

I thought viruses could never be killed. How come someone's viral load goes down with HAART? What happens to all that HIV? It can go from 1 million to undetectable. If it's not killed what happens to it?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Virus is produced and destroyed at roughly the same level on a daily basis, as long as the immune system is roughly intact. Current combination HIV drug regimens can be thought of as stopping production of new viral particles that can infect t cells. Thus, the balance is tipped in favor of reducing viral load as long as the immune system can clear virus from the system and further production is stopped.

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