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13 - 10 - 2016

A treatment removes SIV in macaques

Antiretroviral treatments (ARTs) against the AIDS virus are unable to eliminate the virus in its reservoirs. In primates, it reappears in blood tests two weeks after stopping treatment. This means patients need to take lifelong therapies. A new treatment that combines ARTs and antibodies that act on immunity has eliminated in macaques infected with SIV – the simian version of HIV – the viruses for 23 months after cessation of any treatment. These are incredibly encouraging results.

The antibodies used in this test are available in humans under the name Vedolizumab. A clinical trial is underway to see whether its use could control HIV if ARTs are halted. The first results are expected for the end of 2017.