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Statin medications, a common treatment for high cholesterol, may be able to slow the progression of infection among individuals who have received a positive HIV test, according to a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
A team of researchers from the National Naval Medical Center said that statin medications appear to inhibit cellular markers of immune activation and inflammation among HIV positive individuals.
The researchers were quick to stress that this treatment is not the same thing as a cure. It simply means that statins may slow the degradation of the immune system caused by HIV infection. This is often the leading cause of complications and eventual death in individuals with the virus.
The primary objective of the study was actually to see if statins could lower the amount of viral genetic material in the blood of HIV positive patients. This would have been a major breakthrough. While their research failed to show this outcome, it did indicate that there are other benefits to taking statins.
Statins are already among the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, as millions of people take them to control their cholesterol levels.
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