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Phase 2 Trial Tests Intensified Antiretroviral Therapy plus Interleukin-7 for HIV Eradication

Biopharmaceutical company Cytheris announced this week that it has started a clinical trial to evaluate an intensive antiretroviral and immune-modulator regimen designed to reduce -- and ideally eliminate -- HIV in latently infected reservoir cells. Participants will intensify their current suppressive regimen by adding the 2 newest antiretroviral drug classes, along with interleukin 7 (IL-7) to activate resting CD4 T-cells.

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AIDS Policy Project Urges Community Action to Push for More HIV Cure Funding

The AIDS Policy Project (APP), a recently formed activist group advocating for a cure for AIDS, is calling for community action to push politicians to fund research toward HIV eradication or a "functional cure" that can enable HIV positive people to remain healthy without antiretroviral therapy. APP recently issued a report stating that the National Institutes of Health devotes only about 3% of its budget for HIV cure research, but argues that it should be a top priority.

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AIDS 2010: Cure for HIV Is Feasible and Necessary, Researchers Say

Eradication of HIV -- the long sought cure for AIDS -- appears more scientifically feasible than ever before, researchers reported at a meeting sponsored by the International AIDS Society in the lead-up to the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) taking place this week in Vienna. Speaking at the AIDS 2010 opening plenary, Sharon Lewin explained that universal life-long antiretroviral treatment is increasingly unsustainable, and finding a cure would be fiscally sound as well as beneficial to patients.


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Combination of Integrase Promoter and Protease Inhibitor May Offer Novel Approach to HIV Eradication

Combining peptides that increase integration of HIV genetic material into the host cell genome with the protease inhibitor saquinavir (Invirase, formerly known as Ro 31-8959) led to apoptosis, or programmed death of HIV-infected cells, resulting in "total extermination" of the virus, according to a laboratory study reported in the August 19, 2010 issue of AIDS Research and Therapy. The lethal mix did not appear to have an effect on non-infected cells, suggesting that it might be developed as a novel anti-HIV therapy.

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Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor both Actives Latent CD4 Cells and Reduces Coreceptor Expression

A histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that turns off suppression of latent HIV genes in resting CD4 T-cells has the potential to flush hidden virus out of reservoir cells and make it vulnerable to antiretroviral drugs, according to a laboratory study published in the May 2010 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Researchers found that the HDAC inhibitor ITF2357 increased HIV gene expression up to 15-fold more that the related agent valproic acid.

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