Narrator: This is Science Today. New AIDS drugs called protease inhibitors seem to eliminate the HIV virus from the body. But can people who are taking the drugs still give the virus to someone else, even though they seem healthy?
Kahn: We don’t know the answer to that.
Narrator: Dr. James Kahn of the University of California, San Francisco works with AIDS patients at San Francisco General Hospital. He’s on a research team that’s studying newly-infected patients to see if the virus in their bodies is still contagious or even resistant to the new drugs.
Kahn: People with new HIV infection that we can catch early enough are being offered treatment, and we’re looking at their virus to see whether the newly transmitted virus already contains resistant mutations or not, and we’re offering early diagnosis and treatment for these patients.
Narrator: Kahn says it’s too early to tell, although he’s hopeful.
Kahn: We’ve actually been quite encouraged that very early diagnosis and intervention might hold some promise, but I think right now we would really have to characterize it as exploratory.
Narrator: For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.