Washington: Despite drug therapy, HIV can hide within certain types of cells, where it reproduces at a slower rate and eventually gives rise to chronic inflammation.Now, researchers at Temple University School of Medicine`s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Center for Substance Abuse Research (CSAR) have discovered that synthetic anti-inflammatory substances distantly related to the active ingredient of marijuana might be able to take the punch out of HIV while inside one of its major hideouts - immune cells known as macrophages."Powerful antiretroviral drug cocktails have allowed many HIV patients to live longer," explained Servio H. Ramirez, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM), and first author on the study.But living longer with HIV means extended exposure to low levels of HIV replication and associated inflammation. In the central nervous system (CNS), this inflammatory process is thought to be the underlying cause of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), a spectrum of conditions that is on the rise again after more than a decade of decline following the advent of antiretroviral therapy.
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