Scientists from KU Leuven, Belgium, present a new therapeutic approach that may make it possible for HIV patients to (temporarily) stop their medication. The findings shed a completely new light on the search for a cure for HIV.
Existing antiviral inhibitors can suppress the replication of the HIV virus, but they cannot fully remove it from the human body. As a result, HIV patients have to take inhibitors for the rest of their lives. HIV researchers worldwide are currently developing new methods to eliminate the virus.
The HIV virus uses the cellular protein LEDGF as a kind of grappling-hook to attach itself to specific locations in our genetic material. Once its DNA is inside the cells of its human host, the virus can multiply and make the patient sick.
In 2010, the research team of KU Leuven Professor Zeger Debyser developed inhibitors