New research by an international team finds that Ciclopirox, an antifungal cream used all over the world, completely eradicates HIV - the virus that leads to AIDS - in cultured cells, and the virus does not return when the treatment stops.

The study also found Deferiprone, a systemic drug used to remove excess iron from the body in people who have beta-thalassaemia major, has the same effect.

The researchers, including a team from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, write about their findings in a paper published online this week in the journal PLOS ONE.

As both drugs are already approved for use in humans - both in the US and Europe - the researchers say this means the normally lengthy process of drug development should be less costly and time-consuming, bringing closer the prospect of global elimination of HIV and AIDS.