Existing Prescription Drug Has Potential to Fight HIV
HIV-positive individuals can lead long, happy lives. They are, however, dependent on the prescription drugs that keep the infection at bay. This dependency is a lifelong one. Current therapies aid the immune system to contain the virus. If left alone, the immune system would soon be overwhelmed by the virus – thus the constant need for assistance. This was the fact that researchers focused on when examining the reaction of the immune system towards the virus when this prescription drug was applied. The results have many hopeful that in the near future, lifelong therapies will not be necessary to fight off or protect against infection.
What Prescription Drug?
The enzyme adenosine deaminase is the prescription drug getting the attention here. It already exists in the pharmaceutical world, and scientists are looking to repurpose it to target HIV. What the studies proved was that exposure to this enzyme empowered the immune system in a couple of different ways.
First, immune response was increased. Important CD4 and T cells hurried to the call and took care of the invading virus. The next observation was also impressive, as it showed an increase in memory for the T cells. Next time they encounter HIV, the cells will remember and be able to eliminate it from the host. This is crucial information for researchers investigating how to reduce treatment length. If the immune system can respond efficiently on its own, and then recall that response when threatened again, lifelong therapies may be done away with.
Should adenosine deaminase be able to boost the immune system to the point researchers have seen, it could mean better control of HIV infection. This control could also rely mostly on the immune system, with little fear of a reoccurring infection. Long-term management of the disease could see less dependency on antiretroviral therapies. It is hoped that further study and advocating for the prescription drug is expedited to help out in this regard.
Until the time comes when such medications are ready for use, though, it is vital for those with HIV to stick to their daily treatment routine in order to halt disease progression.