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Surprising Results Show Immunosuppressant May Have Anti-HIV Potential

Researchers studying the effects of immunosuppressant drugs on transplant patients have surprisingly discovered that one immunosuppressant may able to help destroy “dormant reservoirs” of the virus that causes AIDS, the Los Angeles Times reports. The results, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, show “when a small group of transplant patients received the drug sirolimus, they experienced a two- to threefold drop in HIV levels, whereas patients who received other immunosuppressants did not.” Researchers believe that sirolimus’ effects come from its ability to reduce inflammation, which in turn prevents the recruitment of immune cells and the infection of these cells, and also its ability to prevent production of CCR5, which normally coats the surface of T-cells and allows entry of the virus.

Read it in the Los Angeles Times.

Read the study in American Journal of Transplantation.