Science & Technology

Antifungal Cream Discovered to Eradicate HIV

Could be important breakthrough, as it's already approved for use on humans


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.