PEP005, an active component in an FDA-approved drug for the topical treatment of precancerous skin lesions, can effectively reactivate latent HIV with relatively low cellular toxicity.
The treatment of HIV and AIDS has changed considerably over the last few decades with the development of antiretroviral therapy (ART). In most patients treated with ART, plasma virus levels decrease to undetectable levels, disease progression stops, and reconstitution of the immune system begins. However, if a patient stops therapy, latent HIV reservoirs are reignited. Thus, new strategies that reactivate and eliminate latent virus are necessary to completely eradicate the disease.