Common Acne Drug Keeps HIV Dormant

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that minocycline, an antibiotic used to treat acne since the 1970s, can be used as an added defense against HIV. The drug targets immune cells in which the virus remains dormant and prevents them from replicating and reactivating. Minocycline, according to the researchers, is a great weapon in keeping HIV dormant because the virus appears less capable of developing a drug resistance to minocycline, unlike HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) medications. The antibiotic goes after T-cells, which are “major immune system agents and targets of HIV infection,” and decreases the ability for the T-cells to multiply and activate, whereas HAART attacks the virus. However, the researchers say that minocycline will have to be used in conjunction with HAART drug cocktails in order to keep HIV dormant. [Science Daily]

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