As the number of HIV annually increases, hopes of the research community with regards to finding the perfect solution is also known to be optimistically increasing. Recently, the promising "shock and kill" approach to eradicating HIV from infected patients has been introduced to the world of medicine being the proposed cure to the said disease. Experts reveal that the "shock and kill" approach is allegedly made possible by the so-called latency-reversing agents to wake up dormant viruses in the body, which makes the viruses convert to a more vulnerable one to the patient's immune system. The idea, as what health authorities say, is that this, in combination with antiretroviral medicines, is perceived as something that would be able to wipe out the majority of infected cells.
'Shock And Kill Approach' Offers Hope To HIV Patients
According to reports revealed by PBS News hour, a new small-scale human trial of the treatment will start this January, to be followed by a larger human shock and kill trial in June. Allegedly, health experts claim that the shock and kill combines the standard antiretroviral drugs or ARVs with an immune booster, a combo that has long been effective in test tube, animal and recently, in human trials. The treatment flushes out and eradicate pockets of HIV, that is known to lie inactive inside dormant immune cells even as antiretroviral drugs reduce the actively reproducing virus to undetectable levels in the blood.
In one of her statements reported by Medical Xpress, Janice Clements, Ph.D., professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that the potential for the brain to harbor significant HIV reservoirs that could pose a probable danger if activated but apparently hasn't received much attention in the HIV eradication field. On the other hand, study lead author Lucio Gama, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology at Johns Hopkins has revealed that HIV research efforts have long focused on prevention and developing antiretroviral therapies that keep the virus in check without eradicating it, essentially transforming HIV into a manageable chronic condition. Ultimately, despite this proposition, experts have highly emphasized that they would be needing more resources and more people involved to assist them with their study's progress to move along faster.