Monday, 1 February 2016

RESEARCH SHEDS LIGHT ON PERSISTENT HIV RESERVOIR IN CHATTING THE WAY TO HIV CURE



The trail of chatting the way to HIV/AIDS cure is challenge-orchestrated. According to amfAR there are 4-key challenges to be addressed currently in order to attain cure for this viral infection. They include:-

  •  Locating the precise location of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus reservoir.
  •  Gaining knowledge on how Human Immunodeficiency Virus reservoir persists despite antiretroviral therapy.
  • Quantifying the latent virus that exists in reservoir.
  • Obtaining cure for HIV/AIDS.

SIMILAR POST:   CURRENT RESEARCH TRENDS IN HIV/AIDS CURE DEVELOPMENTS

 BASIC FACTS ABOUT HIV/AIDS


In a nutshell, when the HIV gains access to the body, it multiplies uncontrollably and at a rapid rate.  This leads to destruction of the immune cells in the body within the first 2-4 weeks of HIV infection when the body’s immune has not been sensitized of the presence of the virus in the body. A combination of drugs which work in different parts of the viral growth and replication are available choices to curb this process.


When antiretroviral therapy (ART) is commenced at the right time and with good compliance, the virus is gradually suppressed to undetectable levels in the blood in most clients but they don’t eliminate the virus completely from the body.


Studies have shown that when the HIV goes to undetectable levels in the blood, the virus hides in the lymphoid cells in pockets where ART does not penetrate well. This makes concentration of the antiretroviral drugs or Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) at the lymphoid tissue to be low than in the blood.

The persistent reservoir in the lymphoid tissue has been thought to be due to long-lived HIV infected cells.


Recently a team of researchers discovered that the latent virus in the lymphoid tissue continued to evolve slowly but without the emergence of drug resistant-strains which explains the reason behind persistent reservoir in patients who have attained undetectable blood levels of the virus. 



In vitro study publication at the National Institute of Health denotes that if the ART therapy concentrations were increased to either intermediate or high concentrations with an indent to increase ART concentration in the lymphoid tissue, drug resistant strains of the virus emerge making it a vicious cycle.

Surprisingly, at AIDS Research Alliance, mathematical models demonstrated that persistent HIV reservoir can be depleted by use of current HAART regimen in the market but it is at a very slow rate and it will take about 60 – 80 years on HAART. 


ELUSIVE SOLUTION.


With timely HAART regimen, good compliance and healthy lifestyle is the current hallmark for better health for people living with HIV/AIDS. In chatting the way forward in curing HIV/AIDS, the scientists are looking for something to activate latent HIV infected cells concurrently with the HAART regime. AIDS Research Alliance is developing Prostratin, an agent to activate latent HIV infected cells to expose the virus and eradicate it using HAART.

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References:
Ongoing HIV Replication Replenishes Viral Reservoir During Therapy- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Address: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2016/Pages/HIVreplicationReplenishesViralReservoirs.aspx.
Eradicating HIV Reservoir- AIDS Research Alliance. Address: http://aidsresearch.org/cure-research/eradicating-hiv-reservoirs.
HIV Can Persist In the Body Despite Drug Therapy- MedlinePlus. Address: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_156929.html
The Countdown To a Cure of AIDS- amfAR. Address: http://www.amfar.org/countdown/