New non-drug fix for HIV?

Researchers are slowly establishing a connection between an extremely rare genetic disease and HIV -- and homing in on a safe, non-prescription compound that could treat both. Recently, linkurl:James Hildreth;http://www.mmc.edu/faculty/som-jhildreth.html at the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and his colleagues found that cells affected by Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC), which disrupts cholesterol trafficking, were unable to release HIV, suggesting these cells would

Alison McCook
Jun 29, 2009
Researchers are slowly establishing a connection between an extremely rare genetic disease and HIV -- and homing in on a safe, non-prescription compound that could treat both. Recently, linkurl:James Hildreth;http://www.mmc.edu/faculty/som-jhildreth.html at the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and his colleagues found that cells affected by Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC), which disrupts cholesterol trafficking, were unable to release HIV, suggesting these cells would not spread the virus. These findings, published May 27 in the Journal of Virology, are rooted in a hypothesis Hildreth has explored for a long time: that "cholesterol is somehow essential" to HIV, he said. For instance, HIV-1 relies on specialized structures known as lipid rafts, which are rich in cholesterol, to infect new cells. That line of thinking has led him to investigate whether a compound widely employed by the food and chemical industries (and used as a drug solubilizer) which depletes...
Cyclodextrin infusions
Image: Chris Hempel
Addi and Cassi getting their infusions
Image: Chris Hempel




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