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latent HIV is the prmising approach?
Apr 16, 2006

Dear Dr, Do you belive that this is a promising approach? because even after treatment with a cocktail of powerful drugs, "latent" virus remains hidden in the body's DNA and erupts as soon as treatment stops.

The scientists found that combining a cheap drug called valproic acid with the existing therapeutic cocktail, the level of "latent" HIV fell dramatically. They claim they may be able to eliminate the latent HIV altogether, curing the disease

Response from Dr. Daar

You are correct that HIV does persist in the body of those with sustained viral suppression below the limits of detection in their blood. There has been substantial research performed to identify where virus is hiding in the body and some strategies tested to attempt to eliminate these reservoirs. The recent study you describe was very interesting and clearly needs to be further explored. That being said, it involved only a small number of patients and is highly preliminary. This along with the fact that valproic acid is not without side effects strongly argues that such a strategy should not be pursued in the clinic until more information becomes available.

Thank you for your post. Best, Eric


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