12:13 GMT29 January 2020
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    A medical drug used to prevent cancer has been found to be helpful in the treatment of HIV infection, a new study revealed.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The existing anti-retroviral therapy is able to kill the virus in an infected person's bloodstream, leaving the so-called reservoirs of HIV untouched.

    According to a report published on the PLoS Pathogens website Thursday, the PEP005 drug, known for its cancer prevention properties in the treatment of sun-damaged skin, was recently discovered as being highly potent in reactivating latent HIV, making it leave the reservoirs.

    The “kick and kill” treatment strategy, described in the report, is based on “waking up” the dormant HIV using PEP005 and attacking it with the anti-retroviral therapy.

    “We are excited to have identified an outstanding candidate for HIV reactivation and eradication that is already approved and is being used in patients,” Satya Dandekar, one of the lead authors of the report, said in an interview published on UC Davis health system website.

    The treatment strategy has only been tested in the laboratory, and is yet to be determined safe to use on those who are HIV-positive.

    Since HIV was first identified over 30 years ago, improved medicines have mitigated the likelihood of a slow death to one of a chronic threat. HIV treatment has made speedy progress over the past years. According to the UN program to battle HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) data, 1.5 million of people died of AIDS in 2013, 900,000 less than in 2005.


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