Research shows how HIV exhausts the body

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 21 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:145

A remarkable picture of how HIV attacks the body during the long period of clinical latency is described by two research groups in the US, who used three new experimental drugs that inhibit viral replication. The scientists found that, far from being dormant, HIV replicates at a stupendous rate matched only by the ability of the immune system to replace the cells that it attacks.

The researchers found that it takes only two days for the drugs—one that inhibits reverse transcriptase and two others that inhibit HIV's protein cleaving enzyme—to halve the amount of virus and cells …

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