As far as AIDS treatment, the next steps will be to figure out the best dose of the cancer drug and discover if medications or the immune system will kill the virus once it's loose.
"We don't know how to use this drug yet, and we don't know if we have to use it all the time every day for weeks or months and months," study author Margolis said. "We may just need to use it a few days here, then rest, on and off, until we get to the goal we need to get to."
One big question is whether it's possible to fully eliminate the "reservoir" of hidden virus in the body, said AIDS researcher Joseph Kulkosky, an associate professor of biology at Chestnut Hill College, in Philadelphia. Still, he said, it may be possible to at least get at some of it.
Another AIDS researcher, Alberto Bosque, a research assistant professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, praised the study but cautioned that "we are at the beginning of the race towards HIV eradication, where the unknowns and uncertainties exceed our knowledge."
The study appears in the July 26 issue of the journal Nature.
For more about AIDS, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: David Margolis, M.D., professor, medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Joseph Kulkosky, Ph.D., associate professor, biology, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia; Alberto Bosque, Ph.D., research assistant professor, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City; July 26, 2012, Nature
All rights reserved