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Oncology drug 'makes HIV more vulnerable'
An oncology drug has been found to be effective at forcing HIV into a position where it can be reached by antiviral therapies.
This is according to a new study conducted by a team at the University of North Carolina in the US, which showed taking lymphoma medication vorinostat significantly increases the HIV RNA in cells, indicating the biological mechanism that normally hides the disease has been interrupted.
Six medically stable men infected with the virus and taking anti-Aids drugs took part in the experiment and its effects were seen within hours.
Dr David Margolis, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology and epidemiology at the institution, who led the study, said: "Vorinostat may not be the magic bullet, but this success shows us a new way to test drugs to target latency and suggests that we can build a path that may lead to a cure."
As many as 34 million people were living with HIV/Aids in 2010, while 1.8 million died of Aids-related illnesses, World Health Organization statistics state.
Posted by Martine Ward
World Congress 2015