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UK paper reporting Scientists on brink of HIV Cure-

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mecch:

--- Quote from: jkinatl2 on May 15, 2013, 01:14:01 PM ---Please to read the disclaimer on the POZ news page:

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/misleading_reports_1667_23916.shtml

I have great optimism for the future. I also think that a newly diagnosed person who breathlessly lurches from news article to news article looking for t "cure" instead of coming to terms with the illness s/he is likely to live with for a decade or more (perhaps a lifetime) is only postponing the process by which s/he will be able to handle the difficulties that surround the diagnosis and treatment of HIV.

That's not optimism, it's delusion.

Skepticism isn't cynicism.

--- End quote ---

I agree.

geobee:
Here's a good analysis of the story and actual state of the science/research. Well written, too. 

By Richard Jefferys, Project Coordinator at Treatment Action Group (TAG)

http://tagbasicscienceproject.typepad.com/tags_basic_science_vaccin/2013/04/reviewing-strategies-for-draining-hiv-reservoirs.html

Dr.Strangelove:
Yes, great article.

Matts:
There were some preliminary results in Kuala Lumpur. It seems that they were able to wake up a decent amount of latent cells. But it is still too early to say something definitive.

"Hidden HIV virus can be forced out of hiding

Danish researchers have taken a small step towards a cure against HIV.

Preliminary results from a clinical study by HIV researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark confirm the hypothesis that a new drug can reactivate latent HIV in humans. The results were presented today to other international researchers at the 'HIV Cure Symposium' in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

When HIV penetrates the body, it integrates into the DNA of certain immune cells and enters a resting state. In this resting state, cells carrying HIV in their genome are unrecognisable to the immune system. Antiretroviral medicine effectively suppresses virus production and thus, HIV disease progression, but currently there is no treatment that can remove the latent HIV hidden in these cells.

A group of researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University has used a drug called panobinostat (LBH589) - a so-called HDAC inhibitor - which was previously shown to activate hidden HIV virus in laboratory tests. In theory this means that it will be easier for the immune system to trace and fight the cells hiding the virus.

Now researchers have taken a further step. During treatment of 15 Danish HIV-infected patients with panobinostat (LBH589), an increase in HIV in the blood has been measured. This means that the researchers have successfully forced the immune cells carrying HIV out of their resting state, which is a prerequisite for allowing the immune system to identify and eliminate these cells. None of the patients have experienced serious side effects. Yet, the researchers urge to interpret the results with caution.

- It has never previously been seen that HDAC inhibitors can force hidden virus out of otherwise inactive immune cells to an extent where this can be measured in the blood in persons infected with HIV. Therefore, these are groundbreaking results. However, it is important to stress that we are not close to a cure against HIV, but we have taken a small step further towards a cure. The next challenge is whether the patients' immune system can identify the cells with virus and kill them, says Head of Research Martin Tolstrup, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital.

Facts
The study is made in collaboration with specialists in Melbourne, Boston, Sydney and Colorado; the study is conducted at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.
Globally, 33 million people are infected with HIV.
The first significant results involving 15 HIV patients at Aarhus University Hospital show that HIV virus can be activated by panobinostat (LBH589), a so-called HDAC inhibitor, originally developed for cancer treatment.
The Danish Council for Strategic Research the Individuals. Disease and Society programme has supported the project with DKK 12 million. The American organisation amfAR the Foundation for AIDS Research and the Danish AIDS Fondet have also supported the study. "

http://www.en.auh.dk/news+and+media/news+archive/shownews?showNews=128307

and the same in the Yellow Press :)

http://scandasia.com/danish-breakthrough-in-the-fight-against-hiv-revealed-in-malaysia/

Cosmicdancer:
- "It has never previously been seen that HDAC inhibitors can force hidden virus out of otherwise inactive immune cells to an extent where this can be measured in the blood in persons infected with HIV. Therefore, these are groundbreaking results. However, it is important to stress that we are not close to a cure against HIV, but we have taken a small step further towards a cure. The next challenge is whether the patients' immune system can identify the cells with virus and kill them, says Head of Research Martin Tolstrup, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital."

It's not clear why they're saying the next challenge is whether the patient's immune system can identify the cells with virus and kill them.  I thought it's understood that the immune system is not very effective at killing HIV and that we need to rely on ARVs to do that.  Aren't the 15 people in this trial on ARVs which are keeping them undetectable?  Does this mean they are seeing blips in their viral load?  The reporting is really unclear.  Hopefully some better written articles will be coming out. 

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