Scripps Florida scientists find 'functional cure' for HIV

By: Jeff Ostrowski, Palm Beach Post

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JUPITER, Fla. - In findings that could point to a better treatment for HIV infections, Scripps Florida scientists say they’ve found a new way to manage the virus.

Scripps Associate Professor Susana Valente says she successfully tested a drug that promises a “functional cure” for HIV: The infection isn’t gone, but the virus lies dormant.

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The results of a study led by Valente were published in October in the journal Cell Reports. Valente and researchers from Scripps Florida, the University of North Carolina and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research used a natural compound known as didehydro-Cortistatin A, or dCA. It stops the spread of HIV by inhibiting the protein Tat.

“It is really the proof of concept for a functional cure,” Valente said.

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