An experimental new HIV treatment could, with just one dose, reduce the amount of virus in an infected person for up to six months. But experts aren’t convinced the advance will significantly change how we treat HIV anytime soon.
A group of researchers from Gilead Sciences developed a new drug dubbed lenacapavir, described Wednesday in Nature, that targets an HIV protein called capsid that has been nearly untargetable until now. Targeting capsid weakens the HIV virus’ outer coating, making it harder for the virus to infect our cells or protect itself from our body’s defenses. Current HIV treatments — which most patients must take daily — target proteins involved in the early stages of the virus’ life cycle, but targeting capsid affects multiple phases.