Weird Medicine

HIV Drugs Are Being Used To Treat Coronavirus Cases: Here’s Why

Earlier on Tuesday, the government of Japan has confirmed that they’ll be starting the clinical trials to find possible treatments for the current coronavirus outbreak that has been ravaging China and other countries for the past two months. However, rather than develop a vaccine (such as what other scientists are hard at work trying to accomplish), the Japanese government will be testing existing treatments such as those that are used to treat HIV.

What’s the reason for this? How likely are these possible treatments going to work?

HIV Treatment For Coronavirus

This is because the coronavirus (which has been recently named to SARS-CoV-2 due to its similarity to the SARS coronavirus) is initially made out of RNA and other viruses that hold the same structure include those that cause hepatitis C, Ebola and, of course, HIV and AIDS.

Coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes, RNA viruses infect us in a slew of different ways. Moreover, a lot of the drugs that we have today all target the same weaknesses that these viruses have. For example, HIV drugs like lopinavir effectively stop other enzymes that allow viruses to break down certain proteins, which then cripple their ability to infect cells and replicate.

As such, scientists are theorizing that antiviral drugs like lopinavir should be able to target the same weaknesses that the new coronavirus has. In fact, there’s already some circumstantial evidence that they do since some of these drugs have been proven to test positive for both MERS and SARS, both of which are related to the new coronavirus.

As of the moment, the previous tests had only been done on animals and in the lab, meaning that the current findings don’t necessarily translate to people. However, given that the SARS and MERS viruses are related to the new coronavirus, it’s not too far-fetched to think that there’s a possibility of them working. And seeing that the virus is still spreading, it’s important that governments utilize resources to look for every possible treatment option for it.

After all, it is not advisable to place all your fish in one basket.

Coronavirus The 2019-nCoV, a new type of coronavirus, was first discovered at a small animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan in China. Pixabay

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