Closer to an HIV cure

honeycutt

“These results are paradigm-changing because they demonstrate that cells other than T cells can serve as a reservoir for HIV. The fact that HIV-infected macrophages can persist means that any possible therapeutic intervention to eradicate HIV might have to target two very different types of cells.”

To date, HIV cure research has focused on clearing the virus from T cells, a type of white blood cell essential to the immune system. But a discovery made by Jenna Honeycutt, a UNC-Chapel Hill Ph.D. graduate and now a post-doctoral researcher in the UNC School of Medicine, shows that HIV can persist in tissues throughout the body.

Now that Honeycutt and Dr. Victor Garcia’s team know HIV persists in macrophages, large white blood cells found in tissues, Carolina researchers can work to also create new therapeutic interventions aimed at eradicating HIV from these parts of the body.

Read the complete Carolina Story at UNC Health Care…

This is story number 107 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

The UNC School of Medicine team collaborated with scientists in UNC’s department of biostatistics, the theoretical division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and the departments of medicine and pathology at the University of California at San Diego. This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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