Markowitz and his colleagues instead hope to target HIV-positive patients in the early, acute stage. Because improvement in the CD4+ T cell count occurred shortly after patients took cyclosporine in previous studies, the team is using small doses of cyclosporine and a short, four-week treatment period, Markowitz says. Results of this trial of around 45 patients are expected toward the end of the year.
This novel line of attack against HIV is in its early days, and the scientific community is still cautious. But with antiretroviral resistance on the rise, immunosuppression could prove to be a much needed extra weapon in the anti-HIV arsenal.
This article was originally published with the title T Cell Turnoff.