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New Weapon Attacks Latent HIV Reservoirs

November marked one year since the war against HIV took another frightening twist. It was learned that, like guerrillas sneaking into a sleeping army command post, the virus could conceal itself from combination drug therapy by hiding in resting CD4+ T cells--the immune cells that order destruction of such foreign invaders, yet themselves are primary targets of HIV. But November also marked the emergence of a new weapon in the fight against these latent viral reserves, a fight still far from wo

Steve Bunk

November marked one year since the war against HIV took another frightening twist. It was learned that, like guerrillas sneaking into a sleeping army command post, the virus could conceal itself from combination drug therapy by hiding in resting CD4+ T cells--the immune cells that order destruction of such foreign invaders, yet themselves are primary targets of HIV. But November also marked the emergence of a new weapon in the fight against these latent viral reserves, a fight still far from won.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., announced during the 35th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Nov. 12-15 at the Denver Convention Center, that his research group had significantly reduced the number of latently infected T cells in several subjects. The as-yet-unpublished study involved 26 HIV-infected patients. All received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), generally...

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