Men’s Testicles ‘HIV Hiding Spot’

HIV can dodge destruction by powerful antiretroviral drugs by hiding out in the testicles, scientists say.
The French work in the American Journal of Pathology suggests the gonads provide an ideal environment for the Aids virus to replicate itself.
Evidence shows even the best antiretrovirals find it difficult to penetrate the testes.
This may explain why HIV can still be found in the semen of men on drugs that successfully clear their blood of it.
Infected semen
The team say their work could help with the development of new antiretrovirals that can target HIV in the gonads.
This is particularly important given that sexual transmission is one of the main ways HIV is spread from person to person.
According to the most recent World Health Organization data, 39.5 million people are infected with HIV.
Dr Nathalie Dejucq-Rainsford and colleagues from Rennes University examined testicular tissue.
They discovered certain immune cells had the necessary machinery to allow HIV safe passage.
These cells, called macrophages, had all of the required receptors – CD4, CXCR4, CCR5, and DC-SIGN – to bind HIV.
Closer inspection revealed HIV was making copies of itself within the testicular macrophages.
from The BBC

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