Danish research in the fight against HIV, which some are calling “the first step toward a real treatment” for HIV, has generated international attention among researchers and in the media.
The study, which included only six patients, seemed to indicate, for the first time, “that drugs can activate HIV in latently infected cells, thereby exposing them to the immune system's deadly force,” according to the medical journal MedPage Today.
The article went on to say that the Aarhus study created a stir among the delegates currently in attendance at an international AIDS conference in Australia.
The British newspaper the Guardian called the Aarhus results "one of the great scientific discoveries” presented at the AIDS conference.
Steven Deeks, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, told MedPage Today that activation of the HIV virus has long been considered to be the critical first step towards generating a treatment that will have the capacity to help patients on a global scale.
Researchers involved in the study at Aarhus University Hospital downplayed the results, calling them simply another small step in the fight against HIV.
"There is still a long way to go and many obstacles to be overcome before we can start talking about a cure for HIV," senior scientist and physician Ole Søgaard Schmeltz from Aarhus University Hospital said in a press release.
The Danish research team’s results are published – in Danish – in an article in Videnskab.dk.