Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Font Size

273 New Possible Targets for HIV Drugs

Hundreds of Human Proteins Essential to HIV Survival Discovered

Experts Say Finding Is Major Advance continued...

"This study uses new technology to come up with questions we really didn't know how to ask. And it points to areas and systems in the host cells we weren't aware were important," Haynes tells WebMD.

With the exception of a single new agent, all existing HIV drugs target proteins made by HIV itself. Because HIV mutates rapidly, it eventually develops resistance to these drugs by slightly changing its proteins.

The AIDS virus would have a much harder time getting around drugs that target the human proteins it needs. On the other hand, drugs that attack human proteins could do harm if the proteins turn out to be crucial to humans, too.

One hopeful finding is that some people carry a mutant version of one of the proteins identified by the Elledge team, apparently with no harmful consequences. This mutant version of the protein, Haynes and colleagues recently learned, is found in some of the rare individuals who do not progress to AIDS when they become infected with HIV.

"One of the critical challenges of HIV research is to learn as much about the virus as we can, as fast as possible," Haynes tells WebMD. "Studies like this have the potential to move our knowledge forward quickly, which is important given the growing worldwide epidemic of HIV and AIDS."

The findings have broad significant beyond AIDS research. They show that the same techniques can be used to dissect the workings of other viruses -- and of cancers. Elledge says his team is now looking for the Achilles' heels of cancer cells.

Elledge and colleagues report their findings in the Jan. 10 issue of the online journal Science Express.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore