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Stem Cell Gene Therapy Appears Safe, May Protect Cells against HIV Infection

A gene therapy technique that alters an HIV positive person's blood-producing stem cells to make them resistant to the virus appeared safe and led to stable populations of resistant cells in a small study described in the June 16, 2010 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, paving the way for further proof-of-concept studies of this approach.


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CROI 2010: ART Intensification with Maraviroc (Selzentry) or Raltegravir (Isentress) May Improve Immune Activation and Inflammation

The CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (Selzentry) was associated with reduced immune activation and inflammation in 3 studies presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2010) last month in San Francisco. The integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress) may also have some inflammation-dampening effect, but 3 recent studies produced mixed results.

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Bold Efforts to Find a Cure for HIV/AIDS and New Prevention Tools Are Urgently Needed, Says NIAID Head

There is an urgent imperative both to scale up use of proven tools of HIV treatment and prevention, and to develop bold new interventions -- from curative therapies to vaccines and other new prevention methods --according to Drs. Anthony Fauci and Greg Folkers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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HIV Reservoir Found in Blood Progenitor Cells in Bone Marrow

HIV can hide in the bone marrow inside hematopoietic progenitor stem cells, even in people with long-term undetectable plasma viral load, according to study results reported in the March 7, 2010 online edition of Nature Medicine. When the cells are forced to differentiate into different types of blood cells, the viral genome becomes active and begins producing new viral particles. The ramifications of this finding are not yet clear, but will certainly have implications for the growing effort to accomplish HIV eradication.

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Small Molecule Compound 5HN Flushes Out Latent HIV in Reservoir CD4 T-cells

A newly identified compound known as 5HN appears to "flush out" HIV from latent T-cells, potentially making the virus susceptible to eradication from the body, according to research published in the October 1, 2009 advance online edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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