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Author Topic: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency  (Read 3679 times)

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Offline Inchlingblue

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Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« on: September 20, 2010, 11:13:24 AM »
HIV discovery brings new way to finding a cure

Melbourne researchers have made a major discovery in the fight against HIV leading to the possibility of an eventual cure.

In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) this week, scientists at Monash University, the Burnet Institute and The Alfred have identified the mechanism of how HIV enters resting cells -- the main cell that persists in patients on anti-HIV treatment.

Monash University Professor and Co-Head of the Burnet Institute's Centre for Virology and Director of The Alfred's Infectious Diseases Unit, Sharon Lewin said one of the major barriers to curing HIV has been the mystery of how resting cells are infected and how the virus can lie hidden for years in these cells, despite prolonged treatment with anti-HIV drugs.

"Our team of researchers has now identified the path by which the virus can infect resting CD4-T cells and establish latency," Professor Lewin said.

Latency is the ability of HIV to integrate its genetic material into the genome of resting memory CD4-T-cells where it remains dormant but able to reactivate at some point causing the virus to start replicating.

"We have shown that a family of proteins, called chemokines, that guide resting cells through the blood and into lymph node tissue can 'unlock the door' and allow HIV to enter and set up a silent or "latent" infection.

"Once HIV gets into these cells, the virus can then go to sleep. These "silently" infected cells are not cleared by anti-HIV drugs or the immune system. Once a patient stops the anti-HIV drugs, the virus can then wake up and gets going again".

"Understanding this mechanism will enable new treatment options to be developed which could block latent infection. This new laboratory model of latent HIV infection can also be used to screen drugs that may one day eliminate latent infection," co-author and Monash clinical immunologist Dr Paul Cameron said.

The research was a collaborative effort involving scientists from the Burnet Institute, The Alfred, Monash University, University of Montreal, Canada and the Westmead Millennium Research Institute in Sydney.


LINK:

http://www.healthcanal.com/medical-breakthroughs/10840-HIV-discovery-brings-new-way-finding-cure.html

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 12:01:41 PM »
Very interesting indeed, and quite good news.

... will enable new treatment options to be developed which could block latent infection. - However isn't latency achieved in the first few days/weeks of infection? Also, isnt the turnover of these latent celll so slow that blocking further infection after the original infection would have minimal effect?

However, This I love..

This new laboratory model of latent HIV infection can also be used to screen drugs that may one day eliminate latent infection," - meaning it could clear an already Latent infection?


Always good to see progress on these things.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline LPinUK

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Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 12:41:14 PM »
Wish I had a pound for everytime I read a story like this, I could retire from my job.
Diagnosed Poz September 2003, Current Regimen Truvada & Sustiva.

Offline mecch

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Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 02:39:54 PM »
My similar reaction:

"Prof Lewin said understanding how the virus achieved this should speed up the development of new and more potent treatments for HIV, that could possibly block the virus from establishing latency while also targeting its more active presence in the body."


PEP stops the virus from establishing latency. 
Current HAART targets its active presence in the body.

All news is good news but lets hear how this discovery leads to treatment that clears reservoirs.  Snooze
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline lmdo

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  • 35 years old
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 07:54:08 PM »
It's sad how cynical some people are - if there are dedicated people who are working hard to make lives better for so many, and these scientists themselves are optimistic about finding a cure, then we should be encouraged, not disparaging.
I understand some people might have had their hopes dashed in the past but some people, myself included need HOPE.
 :)

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 10:44:35 PM »
It's sad how cynical some people are - if there are dedicated people who are working hard to make lives better for so many, and these scientists themselves are optimistic about finding a cure, then we should be encouraged, not disparaging.
I understand some people might have had their hopes dashed in the past but some people, myself included need HOPE.
 :)

You are a new member here.  So welcome.
Start off on the right food foot and don't judge people for being cynical.  
Willy and I both said all good news is welcome but also explained how this news isn't some fantastic discovery.  You insisted in the other thread we all need to be cheering it.  
There is a certain kind of "public relationy" research announcement that scientists put out - reporting progress, discoveries, hope for the future research, etc.  
OF COURSE buidling hope and always adding to the research is good.
Some people with long experience reading such "announcements" or the articles in newspapers that report on the announcements - can quickly figure out if the PR discourse is worthy.  They aren't knocking the research, dear.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 08:19:44 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline lmdo

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  • 35 years old
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 06:44:08 PM »
Hi,
Thanks Mecch.
Point taken - I suppose I just jump at this sort of news and talk of a cure and hope that it is achievable.
I am struggling with things recently and frightened of facing a life of sickness.
My partner is getting treatment for throat cancer HPV related at the age of 37 so right now I suppose I needed to be positive about things.
If only more $ could go into research I'm sure advances could help us all.
Thanks

Offline mecch

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Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 08:23:48 AM »

I am struggling with things recently and frightened of facing a life of sickness.


Thats awful news about your partner!  
Try not to extrapolate from some people's sicknesses to yourself.
How long have you been HIV+?
Do you live in a situation in which you will have access to doctors and drugs for the future?  If you do, then you shouldn't be "facing a life of sickness".   Really HAART works quite well.  HIV+ people have a lot to deal with but a lot of HIV+ people who have health care and follow it are not sick, and feeling quite well.  Really.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline lmdo

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  • 35 years old
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 07:46:38 AM »
I have been positive for 4 years and started HAART in June this year when my Tcells dropped to 220.
My partner has been positive for 9 years and is on HAART. His T cells are 500 now but his cancer diagnosis is such a shock and frightens me.
We live in Australia and have access to medications and doctors.
My recent bloods were 310. I worry about cancer. My partner should be OK but the doctors cannot tell us much about HPV and the risks of future cancers. His success rate with radiotherapy is over 90% and he has 1 more week to go.
I am really clinging to the belief that 1 day there will be a cure. I know that people might find it hard to believe that this might be possible given the fact that medicine has not been able to cure a virus yet, but I am reading some hopeful opinions of researchers.
I am 36 and he is 37. I want to spend many many years with him enjoying a healthy life without being frightened.
Part of the problem is not being able to discuss this (my or his status) with anyone.
Starting meds for me was difficult. But it is good to find this site where there are so many people in the same situation.

Offline pozoz

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  • Posts: 70
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2010, 12:27:43 AM »
Go Aussies!!!!

I believe they are trying very hard. But understand Mecch"s view also.

I'm also in Australia, and have seen the dedication of the Professors and others at the Immunology Clinics in the major cities public hospitals.

They are passionate and must believe they will get somewhere with this, or they would not even be trying...

Imdo, best of luck with your situation, and again I agree with Mecch, and agree the meds WILL keep you healthy..... I also hope and try to believe there is a cure coming. In my lifetime? Maybe not, but we'll see...

Peace ...
Seroconverted Aug 2008
Tested Pos      May 2009
May 09 CD4 544 19%   VL 22K
Aug 09 CD4 514  19% VL 25K
Dec 09 CD4 510  20% VL 32K
June10 CD4 502  20% VL 36K
July 5th,10 Start Truvada  Reyataz Norvir July 30  CD4 360  21% VL 339
Oct  22 CD4 459  27% VL 191
Jan 2011CD4 561 33% VL U/D <40
Feb  Add Verimune lead in dose to start switch to Verimune/Truvada  
Mar 17 Viramune x2 + Truvada. Stop PIs   
Apr 29     CD4 528 33% VL U/D
July 2011 CD4 440  %?  VL U/D
Sept 2011CD4 620  %?   VL U/D
Dec 2011 CD4 531 31% VL 224
Jan 2012  CD4 576 36% VL U/D
May 2012 CD4 504 36% U/D (start Viramune XR
July 2012 576 (36%) (test request due to XR issues)
Feb  2013 629  (? %) U/D
July  2013 608 38%.   U/D
Jan  14.    576  36%.   UD

Offline jay195

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  • Posts: 67
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 06:49:17 PM »
Imdo,sorry to hear about your situation and I hope things work get better for you as I'm sure they will.

 I really do believe that a cure is in the pipeline.I have said this before and I say it again.I firmly believe that a cure for HIV is close at hand.

Have faith.

                                            Jay xx


Offline lmdo

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  • Posts: 85
  • 35 years old
Re: Aussie Scientists Make Important Discovery About HIV Latency
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2010, 07:59:45 PM »
Thanks guys.
About the cure - if it is close - within the next 5 years - 10 years - 15 years, there is a big difference there!
We need strong advocates that push for this work to proceed - the current meds are not ideal. Sure they might expect a full life expectancy if you can keep your cd4 count above 500 - but does that include the risk of dying of cancer / heart disease / other things that are not considered to be AIDS but are proven risk factors from HIV or the meds??
Let's keep pushing for a HIV cure - I want more $ going towards cure research and am trying to find out where I can direct donations best for cure research - prevention / vaccine research etc. gets plenty of funding already...

 


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