Sunday, December 10, 2023

Is a cure for HIV in sight?

There may be a global focus on COVID-19, but it’s a good time to ask if a cure is finally in sight for HIV. Although many antiretroviral medications have been approved over the years, new strategies are under development that theoretically could deliver a knockout blow to HIV, Medical Xpress reports. Medical investigators are exploring the possibility of gene therapy as a potential HIV cure. Other teams are examining CAR T-cell therapy, a form of immunotherapy that has demonstrated effectiveness against certain forms of cancer. Technically known as chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cell therapy, the method involves extracting T cells from a patient’s blood, followed by modifying them in a laboratory to recognize and destroy HIV-infected cells. Meanwhile, a new proof-of-concept trial might pave the way for further studies of an experimental immune-boosting compound that has been tested in combination with conventional antiretroviral therapy, commonly known as ART. The experimental compound – vesatolimod – activates components of the innate and acquired immune systems to put additional pressure on HIV. Vesatolimod essentially marshals a diverse army of immune system fighters in its assault on the human immunodeficiency virus.

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