WASHINGTON — An experimental compound boosts the effectiveness of HIV drugs so they may only have to be taken once or twice a year. The developers say the drug, which is not a cure, could make compliance with HIV treatment easier.
The virus that causes AIDS has a number of ways to survive in human cells despite treatment.
One mechanism involves disarming a biological process known as autophagy. Under normal circumstances, autophagy allows cells to sweep away debris, including viruses; but, by suppressing this function, HIV is able to keep on infecting white blood cells, eventually leading to a breakdown of the protective immune system.