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One Is More Than Just a Lonely Number

One Is More Than Just a Lonely Number

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One is turning out to be quite an ominous number for HIVers. A previous study had revealed that most HIV infections are the result of a single virus evading the body's immune system defenses and setting up its replication shop in one CD4 cell. Now, researchers at Zurich University say their study of HIVers who stopped antiretroviral treatment has shown that a tiny latent viral reservoir -- even as small as just one microscopic cell -- is enough to allow HIV to fully reemerge and renew its attack on the immune system. The good news is that continuous use of antiretroviral drugs prevents latent HIV from activating. But the downside is that these medications still must be taken indefinitely until a method is developed to purge every actively and latently infected cell from the body.

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