HIV Cure News 2013: Can Ciclopirox, Antifungal Foot Cream, Eradicate HIV?

Ciclopirox Antifungal Cream
Ciclopirox Antifungal Cream Distribution

Ciclopirox cream is a common drug used to treat nail fungus in feet, but according to a study from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the nail fungus treatment can play a role in eliminating HIV from cell cultures. The difference between traditional treatments and Ciclopirox is the fact that the virus won't make a comeback when the patient stops taking the drug. Translation: The patient won't have to take the medication for the rest of their life, as the drug blocks the function of the mitochondria that makes the infected cell's commit suicide and spares the healthy ones. Suffice to say, this study is preliminary and is still in clinical trials. That said, since the drug is already approved for topical use, experts believe that using it for a HIV treatment will be expedited. RELATED: Forehead Nose Grown For Nasal Trauma Patient: 4 Things To Know About The Transplant

Similar results were found by scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University, who published in Nature, when testing monkeys with a similar virus strain as HIV. More than half the monkeys were "protected" and when they were, their cells were "cleared" of the virus. "Three years later, you can't tell them from other monkeys," said Dr. Picker. "It's like their T-cells were turned into the East German secret police, hunting down infected cells until there were none left." These findings are significant when one takes into consideration that the only two historical cases of eliminating the disease were the "Berlin Patient" Timothy Ray Brown and the Mississippi baby. RELATED: AIDS Cure Found? Researchers Successfully Test Vaccines On HIV-Like Virus In Monkeys

Russian scientists have also recently shared developments in the HIV/AIDS research, revealing that mushrooms found in the Siberian forest could contain antiviral properties that are "toxic to cancer cells." The researchers at the Vector Institute claim that the mushrooms also curb influenza and small pox as well. "Strains of these mushrooms demonstrated low toxicity and a strong antiviral effect," said the scientists in a statement. "We conducted research and for the first time we selected 82 strains of 33 types of fungi growing in South West Siberia," said a spokesman for Vector to Siberian Times. "Chaga fungi strains -- which are so well known around Siberia - showed the widest spectrum of antiviral activity. RELATED: HIV Cure News: Could Mushrooms Contain Ingredient Toxic To HIV, Smallpox And Other Diseases?

The AIDS epidemic has claimed over 25 million lives since its discovery in 1981 and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 33.4 million people on our planet are living with AIDS. The epidemic is even prevalent in the Latino community, as Latinos account for 20 percent of new HIV infections in the United States. Fortunately, progress has been made on many fronts and the proof is in the numbers: UNAIDS, the UN program committed to HIV/AIDS research, has found there has been a decline in HIV/AIDS related deaths and new cases from 2012 to 2011. Consider this: the total number of deaths worldwide fell from 1.7 million in 2011 to 1.6 million in 2012 and the number of new reported cases fell from 2.5 million in 2011 to 2.3 million in 2012. RELATED: UNAIDS Report Shows Over 52% Reduction In HIV Infections, 'Dramatic' Progress Worldwide

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Susmita Baral

Susmita Baral joined Latin Times in April 2013. Her work has been published in VICE, Weight Watchers Magazine, Unique Homes Magazine, US Airways Magazine, Vista Magazine, Daily Glow and Kaplan. She holds a B.A. Psychology from Rutgers University. A self-proclaimed foodie, Susmita is a freelance list maker, part-time Shaq devotee, and a full-time eyeliner junkie who believes mac and cheese is a birthright.