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United Press International
Acne drug may be a defense against HIV

March 24, 2010
BALTIMORE, March 24 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers said an antibiotic used to treat acne for more than 30 years may help treat HIV infection.

Scientists at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found minocycline -- the antibiotic used for acne -- targeted the infected immune cells in which human immunodeficiency virus may lie dormant.

The study, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, found minocycline helped immune function by aiding cellular pathways that help keep the virus from reactivating.

The researchers said the drug has the potential of improving the current treatment regimen of HIV-infected patients --a drug cocktail known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART.

"The big challenge clinicians deal with now in this country when treating HIV patients is keeping the virus locked in a dormant state," Janice Clements said in a statement. "While HAART is really effective in keeping down active replication, minocycline is another arm of defense against the virus."