Novel treatment for HIV and AIDS

Scrub typhus infection suppresses HIV in the bloodstream...
27 August 2000


Cartoon of a virus or germ


A new discovery this week could help people with HIV and AIDS.

A US Army doctor working in Thailand has found that when AIDS patients are infected with a disease called Scrub Typhus, the amount of HIV in their blood falls dramatically, and remains low after they have recovered from the infection.

Researchers have described the finding, which has been confirmed by clinical trials, as ‘very exciting’ because usually when an AIDS patients catches another infection the amount of HIV in the bloodstream greatly increases, sometimes by as much as 800%.

However, 2 weeks after going into hospital with scrub typhus infection, the amount of HIV in the bloodstreams of 2 out of 10 infected individuals had fallen to undetectable levels.

Doctors still do not know why this occurs, but it could lead to a new and highly effective way to treat HIV infection.


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