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Alcoholism Drug Fights HIV

Update Date: Nov 23, 2015 09:10 AM EST
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As reported by Daily Beast, team of researchers from the University of California San Francisco and University of Melbourne have found a drug that can be used effectively against fighting HIV. According to the researchers, the drug was originally designed to treat alcoholism but it is also capable of activating the dormant HIV.

This discovery can go a long way in developing the treatment for HIV as one of the biggest challenges faced by the scientists and doctors is getting the virus out. When the HIV is inactive, it can integrate into the person's DNA through the cells. Usually in this case, the medical experts use the antiretroviral drugs to treat the patients who are suffering from HIV. However, for these drugs to be effective, the virus needs to be active. Even though the death rate has been reduced significantly as a result of this medication, it still doesn't eliminate the virus completely from the patient's system, says The Christian Daily.

In a recent study, researchers found that the disulfiram, alcoholism drug, when tested on 30 patients undergoing the antiretroviral therapy led to the emergence of HIV virus. The lead author of the study, Dr. Julian Elliot of Australia's Department of Infectious Disease at Monash University and Alfred Hospital, said that activating the HIV virus is the key step for its treatment. Now that the researchers know how to activate the virus, the next step is to find the treatment that can eliminate it. Dr. Elliot said, "This is a very important step as we have demonstrated we can wake up the sleeping virus with a safe medicine that is easily taken orally once a day. Now we need to work out how to get rid of the infected cell", reports Medical News Today.

Another finding suggests that unlike other drugs and medication, the treatment with disulfiram does not have any external side effects and does not have any toxic concerns, reports The Guardian.

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