Cure for HIV/AIDS can only be found out when the method to stop the viral reservoir from growing again can be developed. There is a new study published in the Journal of Virology that discusses the process in detail of how the HIV-1 virus can persist in our body despite the use of antiretroviral treatment. It also discusses the reemergence of the virus after stopping the treatment and also ways to prevent them from reoccurring.
Dr. Florian Hladik from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine wanted to answer the question regarding AIDS-causing HIV virus bouncing back after stopping the treatment. The virus becomes undetectable even after many years of treatment and the goal is to stop that, so they HIV/AIDS can have a permanent cure.
HIV Reemergence and How to Stop the Process?
Dr. German Gornalusse, the co-author of the study said the method of HIV hiding in infected genome cells in only known in principle but how the so-called latent provirus survives and how they reemerge is yet to be discovered in detail. The infected latent cells are normally quiet but they resume to make the infection HIV virus as soon as the treatment is stopped.
The aim is to find the process of how the cells are triggered and what mechanism they follow to produce the virus. If the process can be fully understood, the reemergence of HIV can be prevented and with further research, the disease can also have a functional cure where the virus won’t come back after stopping the treatment.
Next Step is to Cure HIV and AIDS
The researchers found out that the epithelial cells from the endocervical canal of the human uterus were very effective in triggering latent HIV to remerge. Also, the cells were infected with herpes simplex virus or triggered with some other pathogen-derived factors. The entire process of HIV reemergence can be blocked by using cytokine named TNF-alpha inhibitor, which is kind of a protein acting as immune messengers between cells.
Now the team is researching other silencers for HIV which can stop the virus from coming back. They are also collaborating with other researchers and the next step is to find an HIV cure after proper investigating and clinical trials.