A new study published In the journal PLOS ONE, has shown that a commonly prescribed anti fungal drug, Ciclopirox, completely eradicates HIV in cultured cells and the virus doesn’t return when treatment is discontinued.

Another drug , Deferiprone, a systemic drug that is used to remove excess iron , apparently has the same effect.

The fact that both these drugs are already on the market means that the process of getting the drugs to be used in people with HIV, should be quicker than would be the case for a completely new drug.

Viruses invade healthy cells and then proliferate using the cells resources. Our bodies usually fight this form of attack by cell suicide. However HIV disables this mechanism which means the cells with HIV continue to thrive.

The 2 drugs tested worked against HIV in 2 different ways, both of which reactivated the cell’s suicide pathways. The good news is that healthy cells without HIV were not affected and the virus did not bounce back after the treatment was discontinued.

The new drugs have already moved into human trials in South Africa, renewing the hope that we can rid the world from the scourge of HIV, in the not too distant futue