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University of Sask. researchers investigate advanced HIV treatment

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A research team at the University of Saskatchewan are directing grant funds to develop a targeted treatment of HIV as opposed to medications that suppress the symptoms.

The team, lead by Dr. Kerry Lavender have been given over $800,000 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Lavender was also given an extra $100,000 for her project.

“Currently, the only effective means of treating HIV-1 involves the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens,” Lavender said in a news release.

“ART suppresses viral replication and prevents the progression of the virus into AIDS, thus extending patients’ lives. Developing new strategies to eliminate the HIV reservoir and cure the infection are a global priority.”

The team will look at how antiviral immune mediators, known as interferon (IFN)-alpha subtypes could be a better treatment of HIV.

“We will use this knowledge to harness these effects and incorporate them into new therapeutic strategies to significantly reduce, or even completely eliminate, HIV-infected cells from the body,” Lavender said.

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