October 6, 2013

October 6, 2013

Antifungal Drug Shows Promise Fighting HIV in the Lab

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great weekend so far. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

On a very sad personal note, today is the memorial events for our Ambassador of Hope Raja Shortell who passed on this past weekend. It is always hard losing anyone but especially one who was not only an Ambassador of Hope but also a friend.

So I need to blog about something positive today and I recently read about an antifungal drug that showed promise in fighting HIV. Lab research shows the anti-fungal aided cells in elimination of AIDS-causing virus.

A common drug used to treat nail fungus may hold promise against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to a new study.

In laboratory research, the anti-fungal drug Ciclopirox allowed HIV-infected cells to get killed off by blocking the cells' mitochondria -- their powerhouse. In addition, Ciclopirox eliminated HIV from cell cultures, and the virus did not return when the anti-fungal drug was stopped, the study authors said.

This does not occur with currently available anti-HIV drugs, which must be taken for the rest of a patient's life, said study leaders Michael Mathews and Hartmut Hanauske-Abel, of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

The effectiveness of Ciclopirox against HIV needs to be confirmed in human clinical trials. But because the drug is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of fungal infection and is considered safe, the clinical trial process for this treatment could be quicker and less costly than usual, the researchers said.

The study is published in the current edition of the journal PLoS One.

The use of combination antiretroviral drugs have vastly improved HIV treatment, the study authors said in a Rutgers news release. These so-called drug cocktails are effective at keeping HIV under control, but they never completely eradicate the infection.

HIV's persistence is partially due to its ability to disable a cell's so called suicide pathway, which is normally triggered when a cell becomes infected or damaged.

So let's hope this develops into more good news for people living with HIV and get us closer to where I don't have to be so sad like today because of losing another close friend at far too young an age.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab