Scientists at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital and Monash University say they hope a world-first treatment for HIV could lead to a cure for the virus.
Researchers say they have used a cancer drug to wake up dormant HIV from its genetic hiding place, making it more susceptible to treatment.
Sharon Lewin, the Alfred Hospital's director of infectious diseases, says 20 patients are taking part in a trial.
"The next step is to follow what happens to those viruses once they've been woken up," she said.
"We're going to be following these patients for a further few years and at the same time, try to focus on how to kill the virus once it's been woken up."
Dr Lewin says researches hope the discovery could eventually lead to a cure for the virus.
"It's a small step in a massively complicated jigsaw puzzle," she said.
"It's a really important step because there are several important reasons as to why we as scientists and clinicians need to start to think about curing HIV rather than keeping people on lifelong treatment."
News of the Melbourne trial comes as HIV researchers in the US revealed a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims.
Researchers say a baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy.
More testing needs to be done to see if the treatment would have the same effect with other children.
But the results could change the way high-risk babies are treated and possibly lead to a cure for children with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, presented the findings at a conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections in Atlanta.
"This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants," she said.
The Mississippi baby's case used a cocktail of widely available drugs, which are already used to treat HIV infection in infants.
When the baby girl was born in a rural hospital, her mother had just tested positive for HIV.
Paediatric HIV specialist Dr Hannah Gay put the infant on a cocktail of three standard HIV-fighting drugs, instead of the single drug that is usually administered, when she was just 30 hours old, even before lab tests came back confirming her infection.
The researchers believe this early use of anti-viral treatment likely resulted in the infant's cure by keeping the virus from forming hard-to-treat pools of cells known as viral reservoirs, which lie dormant and out of the reach of standard medications.
The next step is trying to find biomarkers that would offer a rationale to consider stopping therapy within the context of a clinical trial.
Researchers say if they can learn what caused the child to clear her virus, they hope to replicate that in other babies, and eventually learn to routinely prevent infections.