Scientists say they have made an “exciting” step towards curing HIV by forcing the virus out of hiding. HIV can become part of someone’s DNA and lie dormant for decades, making a cure impossible. Early stage research in six people, reported at the Aids 2014 conference, shows that low-dose chemotherapy can awaken the virus. Experts said it was a promising start, but it was unlikely the drug would work on its own to cure HIV. Anti-viral drugs can drive HIV down to undetectable levels in the bloodstream, meaning people who are HIV positive can have a near-normal life expectancy. But there is problem. HIV can incorporate its DNA into our own, where it lies beyond the reach of drugs and the immune system – it is known as the HIV reservoir.

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