Cholesterol is well known for its role in the etiology of cardiovascular disease, but new research also indicates that it may play an intricate role in the development or persistence of viral infections. In an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers showed in culture that treatment of HIV-infected cells with cholesterol-depleting compounds reduces the production of and infectivity of HIV particles.

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD) reported that the HIV gag protein is recruited to lipid rafts, which are microdomains within the cell membrane with