Modern HIV therapy is based on antiretroviral therapy, which suppresses the replication and spread of the virus, but cannot completely cure the patient. This is because the virus hides inside immune cells, making it undetectable by the body’s immune system.
The new treatment aims to forcefully reactivate the latent virus and allow the immune system or antiretroviral drugs to detect it.
Using computer simulations, the researchers identified a compound that inhibits the polymerase-associated factor 1 complex (PAF1C), which is essential for suppressing viral gene expression.
The synthesized drug, called iPAF1C, increased the effectiveness of existing anti-HIV drugs in in vitro immune cell culture. The team tested the drug on blood samples from four infected patients, and the results were promising.
Further research will focus on refining the drug for testing in animal models.
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