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Med Sci Monit. 2004 Jul;10(7):RA155-65. Epub 2004 Jun 29.

Eradication of HIV in infected patients: some potential approaches.

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SAIC-Frederick, Inc, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


Although at present, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has greatly reduced the number of viral copies to an undetectable level and has slowed down the progress of the disease in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the HIV-infected cells are not eradicated by this therapy. Virus replication rebounds once the drug therapy is terminated, regardless of duration of the therapy, primarily due to the establishment of a viral reservoir. Therefore, viral suppressive therapy is a lifelong task and may be accompanied by many as yet unidentified serious side effects. In addition, the maximum therapeutic benefits of HAART appear to have been reached recently in the U. S, and the incidences of multi-drug resistant viral strain infections are slowly but steadily increasing. Without an effective vaccine, which has already proved to be very difficult to develop, for the protection of the uninfected population and a feasible eradication strategy to cure infected patients, the number of HIV-infected persons will inevitably continue to rise. While the vast majority of endeavors are focused on developing new drugs that target different steps of HIV replication for suppressive therapy, researchers need to find a therapeutic strategy that directly aims at HIV-infected cells to cure the disease. In this article, I review and discuss some potential approaches to eradicate HIV-infected cells from the patients.

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