Earlier this month, we reported on some exciting new research on the HIV cure front. UNC’s Dr. David Margolis and his team used a cancer drug called vorinostat to flush latent HIV infection from hiding.
The study involved six HIV-positive men who were stable on an antiretroviral therapy, and had no detectable virus, but had a “reservoir” of virus hiding in resting CD4+ T cells, the immune system cells that the virus uses to replicate. Within just hours of receiving vorinostat, all six patients had a significant increase in HIV RNA in these cells, meaning that the virus had been forced out of its hiding place and was replicating.
In January, Dr. Margolis spoke at Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, in Research Triangle Park. In the accompanying podcast, he talks “curative therapy” (as opposed to cure), viruses and the immune response, and the “Berlin patient.” Click here to listen.