Study shows HIV ‘much harder’ to cure than previously thought

Hopes of a total cure for HIV have been dealt a blow, after researchers in the US discovered that the reservoir of inactive viruses in a patient’s body may be up to 60 times larger than previously thought.

“Our study results certainly show that finding a cure for HIV disease is going to be much harder than we had thought and hoped for,” said senior investigator Dr Robert Siliciano, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

In a new study from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Maryland, researchers discovered that the reservoir of latent or inactive HIV that lingers in a patient’s body is much larger than scientists believed.

Currently, researchers have no way of eradicating inactive HIV viruses.

Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), the UK’s largest sexual health and HIV charity, stressed the research highlighted the importance of HIV prevention.

THT Policy Director Lisa Power said: “Prevention is not only better than cure; it’s also the only viable option we have for the foreseeable future.

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