Scientists Get Closer To Cure For HIV

In a study conducted by researchers, it was shown that an HIV-virus-like-particle (HLP) outperformed other possible HIV cure therapies by a factor of 100 in reducing viral loads in the bodies of persons living with chronic HIV who are undergoing combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Human lentiviral particles (HLPs) are non-infectious HIV particles that carry a full complement of HIV proteins; they boost immune responses. Millions of individuals all over the globe might be able to utilize HLP to get rid of HIV if clinical studies are successful.

HIV targets CD4 cells, an essential part of the immune system that aids in fighting off infections and illnesses. The more severe form of HIV, known as AIDS, may cause death in a few years if therapy is not initiated. There are about 1.2 million individuals living with HIV in the United States, and over 30,000 new cases are identified each. Although HIV has no known cure, there are several medications that people may take to extend their lives.

The mainstay of HIV treatment is cART, a cocktail of drugs aimed at reducing the virus’s ability to replicate in the body. This treatment is effective because it inhibits the HIV life cycle at several points, lowering bloodstream viral loads and stopping the virus from replicating. To prevent the spread of HIV and its devastating effects, cART aims to reduce the viral load to undetectable levels, which will give the immune system a chance to heal. The virus establishes a “latent reservoir” inside the body’s cells, where it lies dormant, as cART is ineffective in eradicating the virus.

An essential step toward treating and curing the infection has been made possible by the current paper’s claims that HLP may aid in the purging of cells of this latent HIV. Approximately 95% of HIV patients are considered to be persistently infected, meaning that they have been untreated for at least a year. This may induce acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) by gradually destroying the patient’s immune system.

To find out whether this HLP medication works for persons with acute and chronic HIV, the researchers want to test it on a more significant cohort of people from all over the globe. They took blood samples from around fifty persons with chronic HIV who had been taking the current standard medication for an extended period.