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Could Protein Flush Out Latent Virus?

Could Protein Flush Out Latent Virus?

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The immune system protein interleukin-7 could help flush out HIV viral reservoirs in the body and possibly even enable an eradication of the virus from HIV-positive people, according to a study by researchers in Philadelphia. Even in the presence of successful antiretroviral therapy, HIV can lurk untouched in latent immune system cells and begin replicating again once those cells are reactivated years or even decades later. But the researchers report in the January 3 issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation that when IL-7 was administered along with anti-HIV drugs to a group of 14 HIV-positive adults, dormant cells were reactivated, making the virus inside suspectible to the antiretrovirals. Previous studies have shown IL-2 to similarly reactive dormant cells. The researchers hope that someday it may be possible to craft a regimen of several interleukins along with antiretroviral drugs that could deplete the HIV reservoirs and effectively eliminate the virus from the body.

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.