The cornerstone of treatment, anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream but leaves “HIV reservoirs” untouched.
The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, showed the drug was “highly potent” at reactivating hidden HIV.
Experts said the findings were interesting, but it was important to know if the drug was safe in patients.
The power of the HIV reservoir was shown with the case of the Mississippi baby.
She was given antiretroviral drugs at birth. Despite appearing to be free of HIV for nearly two years after stopping treatment, she was found to be harbouring the virus.