Anti-HIV effect of Statins?
Sep 15, 2004
In a recent reputable journal (deReal, et. al., "Statins Inhibit HIV-1 Infection by Down-regulating Rho Activity," Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol 200(4), 541-547, there was a small study which demonstrated a drop in viral load in 6 never-as-yet-treated HIV+ patients with 40mg of lovastatin. The researchers even do pretty heady in vitro research to find a cell mechanism why this may be so. If this result is true:
1. Why wasn't it seen before? 2. Will the effect be durable or will HIV mutate around it? 3. Have studies in the past been confounded by the effect of statins? (For instance, sustiva and many PIs raise cholesterol and many studies allow patients to start statins for elevated LDL, etc...)
Response from Dr. Henry
I saw that study. The clinical portion of the study was not very convincing (small number of patients with only slight benefit) versus the lab portion (test tube effect). More work needs to be done on the subject before I can make any further comments about the potential for statin use as an HIV drug. KH
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