Wadau, ingawa siku hizi kuna dawa za kurefusha maisha ya walioathirika na HIV/AIDS bado hakuna tiba. Mwakani kutakuwa na majaribio ya kuona kama wanaweza kusafisha virusi hivyo kutoka kwenye miili ya walioathrika. Tuombe Mungu kuwa watafanikiwa.
AIDS Quest to Kill `Sleeping' Virus Enlists Merck Cancer Drug
By Simeon Bennett - Sep 2, 2010
The 30-year-long search for a cure for AIDS, the world’s deadliest viral infection, may get a renewed boost from an unlikely source: a little-used Merck & Co. cancer drug.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill plan to test Merck’s drug, Zolinza, next year in about 20 people infected with HIV, the AIDS virus. The goal is to determine if Zolinza, or a medicine like it, can force HIV out of cells where it can reside, concealed from attack by potent antiviral treatments, said David Margolis, a professor of medicine who’s leading the research.
While AIDS drug cocktails can eliminate more than 99 percent of virus from an infected person, the treatment isn’t a cure because a remnant of the virus remains hidden in certain cells. For years, scientists have sought a simple way to drive the remaining virus into the bloodstream where the drugs can clear them from the body. Zolinza, approved in 2006 for use against a rare type of blood cancer, may work by blocking an enzyme that helps the virus avoid detection.
“It’s really all about trying to move the field ahead,” Margolis said in a telephone interview. “We don’t expect to cure anybody, but we expect to really show whether it can work the way we think it does in people -- or not.”
Zolinza earned Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck $15 million in 2008, the last year it disclosed sales of the drug, for treating a malignancy of white blood cells that affects the skin. In a laboratory test published last year, Margolis used the medicine to coax HIV out of hiding in cells taken from infected patients. Now he wants to replicate the result inside the body. Success would show he’s on the right track to finding a cure.
“There is a good chance that it will cause some activation of latently infected cells,” said Robert Siliciano, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who first identified the cells in which HIV hides out, and isn’t involved in the Zolinza trial. “Nobody knows if it will work, but it’s important to try.”
AIDS was first observed as a mysterious illness among gay men in the U.S. in 1981, the same year Margolis started medical school at Harvard University in Boston. Since then it’s killed more than 25 million people, mostly in Africa.
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