British scientists are getting closer and closer to an actual cure for HIV and the world is taking notice. For the longest, the fight against HIV has been mostly focused on suppression and preventative medicine. And thanks to the progress that has been made, HIV hasn’t posed nearly as much of a threat as it once had in the past decades. Now, scientist are taking what they’ve learned over the years and utilizing their expertise to find a cure.
According to an article by Gizmodo, a new type of experimental HIV therapy has made history.
A 44-year-old man in England is possibly the first person in history to be cured of HIV. Scientists working on an experimental new therapy say that the virus is now completely undetectable in his blood.
It turns out that a social worker in London underwent an experimental treatment and has become completely free of the virus. Although thrilled, the unidentified patient still remains cautiously optimistic.
It would be great if a cure has happened. My last blood test was a couple of weeks ago and there is no detectable virus.
The two-stage process starts with the patient taking a vaccine that helps the body’s immune system detect any HIV-infected cells. Then dormant T-cells are activated with the use of a drug called Vorinostat. The immune system would then kill off any traces of HIV in the patient’s body making it so the chances of the virus ever coming back are next to none.
Consultant physician Professor Sarah Fidler at Imperial College London stated:
This therapy is specifically designed to clear the body of all HIV viruses, including dormant ones. It has worked in the laboratory and there is good evidence it will work in humans too, but we must stress we are still a long way from any actual therapy.
There is still much work to be done and the social worker will still have to wait to a bit to make sure that the therapy was completely successful. And there are still years of testing and trials with other patients before it can be confirmed that conventional medicine has done the job successfully.
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