Researchers Discover New Cause of Chronic Inflammation in HIV Patients

November 11, 2020 11:35:55

Data shows that, when compared to persons without HIV, people with HIV have a shorter life expectancy and undergo accelerated aging by up to 10 years. These trends have been linked to prolonged inflammation and may cause the premature onset of diseases associated with age, such as neurocognitive decline, cancers and atherosclerosis.

The research findings were in the “Journal of Infectious Diseases,” and its findings highlight the need to create new treatments that target continual inflammation among people with HIV to improve outcomes.

When a person is infected with the HIV virus, the virus becomes part of his or her DNA forever. The affected cells don’t reproduce the virus, and to avert HIV/AIDS-linked complications, people usually use antiretroviral treatments. However, these treatments don’t avert chronic inflammation, which plagues most people living with HIV.

A physician scientist from the Boston Medical Center, Nia Lin, says that the main focus of the study was to find a link between chronic inflammation within HIV patients with suppressed virus loads and HIV latently infected cells.

To conduct the study, the researchers involved a group of 57 people living with HIV; these participants were treated using ART (antiretroviral therapy). Researchers compared virus measurements between the older and younger people with HIV as well as the inflammation detected in blood samples. The inflammation’s ability to set in motion HIV production originating from the dormant cells was also compared to the existing HIV genome.

The researchers’ findings point to the limited ability to manage the production of HIV RNA, even when using antiretroviral drugs, is connected to inflammation. The study’s corresponding author and infectious diseases physician Manish Sagar states that results suggest that new treatments that target the persistent inflammation in people with HIV is needed. While present-day ARVs prevent a new infection, they don’t avert RNA production in HIV cells.

Estimates indicate that approximately 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. In addition, roughly 14% aren’t even aware that they’re infected. A different Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report states that among those who are undiagnosed or diagnosed with HIV two years ago, 65% had undetectable HIV viral loads, 58% were held in care and 76% had received a form of HIV care. To reduce the transmission risk to almost zero and prevent the progression of HIV, antiretroviral therapy is used.

One biomed company you should watch is Processa Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PCSA). This Maryland-based company focuses on identifying potential drugs with proof of concept and then undertaking clinical trials to bring those remedies to market.

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