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HIV will only be cured with combinations too, conference delegates hear
Gus Cairns, 2016-07-20 20:40:00
Curing people of HIV infection will have to involve
combinations of drugs and approaches, just as HIV treatment does, delegates
heard at the Towards a Cure workshop held
in advance of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban.
The reason is the same, too: HIV can easily develop
resistance to single agents, even ones as sophisticated as broadly neutralising
antibodies and gene-editing enzymes.
Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the US National
Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told delegates that HIV cure
research was roughly at the stage HIV treatment was in 1990; as with the first
HIV drug AZT (zidovudine), it was becoming clear that single agents or
strategies might only have the most limited effect, and dual combinations were
starting to show somewhat more promise.
Most cutting-edge cure research is still at the stage of
lab-dish and animal-model research and human trials inevitably lag behind.