HIV May Hide in Brain

A group of Swedish researchers have found that the human brain could be a hiding place for HIV. This finding is revealed after analyzing about 70 HIV-infected patients who had been taking antiretroviral drugs, which shows that about 10 percent of the patients had traces of HIV in their spinal fluid but not in their blood.

In another study made by the same researchers, it was found that 60 percent of 15 HIV-infected patients who were undergoing antiretroviral therapy for several years have suffered inflammation in their spinal fluid. The levels, however, were lower after treatment.

Although anti-HIV drugs have been developed in recent times to prevent the virus from multiplying, the HIV could also infect the brain and can cause serious damage if left untreated. According to Dr. Arvid Eden, researcher at the Institute of Biomedicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, “Antiviral treatment in the brain is complicated… partly because (the brain) is surrounded by a protective barrier that affects how well medicines get it.” This turns the brain into a reservoir for the HIV, where treatment may be less effective.

In effect, the researchers concluded that development of new drugs and treatment strategies for preventing HIV infection.


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