#1: Reservoirs of Latent HIV Hinder Quest for a Cure
HIV has remained stubbornly impervious to a complete cure, and researchers have uncovered new evidence that may explain this problem, at least in part. In patients who are being treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART), it appears that a latent form of HIV residing in immune cells can continue to reproduce, potentially reactivating the virus in the body and offering resistance against ART.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, this latent HIV has an extremely long half-life, presenting a significant obstacle to complete eradication of the disease.
To learn more about the reservoir of latent HIV in immune cells, the research team grew CD4 cells from the blood of 12 HIV-positive patients who were on ART. The cells were then stimulated with rounds of various chemicals to induce them to divide and proliferate. Each time the cells were stimulated they were split into 2 groups, one of which was the control group. The other group of cells would then go through the stimulation process again. The researchers discovered that the stimulated cells were able to proliferate without releasing active HIV, but that the new cells created from this division actually did emit active HIV.
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