Sunday, March 7, 2010

Latent AIDS infections

Researchers at the University of Michigan believe they have pinpointed the reason as to why people infected with HIV eventually develop AIDS if they cease taking medication. Scientists have found that the AIDS virus can hide in bone marrow, avoid drugs during the course of treatment, and become active later. The HIV virus can infect other cells in the bone marrow that live longer than most cells. When infected bone marrow cells are converted to blood cells, the virus reactivates and starts infecting other cells. This discovery is a crucial step toward finding a cure for HIV/AIDS; eliminating the source that is responsible for latent infections would allow HIV patients to stop treatment after the infection is over. Those in rural and poor countries where many are unable to afford medication would greatly benefit from new medications that destroy the cells responsible for latent infections. To read more about latent HIV infections click here.

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