Researchers In The UK Might Have Found A Cure To HIV With This New Treatment
Human Immunodeficiency Virus more commonly known as HIV has been one of the most difficult of diseases to treat till date. The problem that arises with this disease is that it hides in dormant cells of the body; hiding in these cells makes it almost impossible for the immune system to get to it. But we have a ‘breakthrough’ by a team of researchers in the UK. The team has already completed a trial consisting of 50 patients for their ‘new’ HIV treatment and till now there are no signs of the deadly virus in the blood of the patients.
The initial stage of testing showed very promising signs of curing the disease but it’s still to say that. The HIV may return according to the doctors and because there’s an anti HIV drug present in the body it will be difficult to assess whether the virus is actually gone or not. The team consists of people from five different British universities and also from the UK’s National Health Service.
"This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV," Mark Samuels, Managing Director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, told Jonathan Leake at The Sunday Times.
"We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV. This is a huge challenge and it's still early days but the progress has been remarkable."
The team says we may be on brink of defeating HIV once and for all
The new therapy made by the team works by first giving the patients a vaccine that boosts their immune system’s ability to detect any cells infected with HIV and destroy then. Then there’s a drug called Vorinostat that is used to activate the dormant HIV cells left in hiding. Once those dormant cells are activated the boosted immune system can easily kill them off.
It’s just like the HIV infected cells suddenly move out of their comfort zone, are detected and killed off by the immune system. The standard antiretroviral drugs that are being used these days are ineffective in killing HIV infected cells altogether. The best, current drugs could do is keep the virus at bay, something which this new therapy hopes to change.
The disease effects around more than 35 million people around the world. If this therapy does work then we could see the second person in the world to ever be cured of HIV. The 44 year old man who was unnamed has shown no current signs of the virus in his blood. He is the first one out of 50 patients to finish his trial and in a few months after the drugs wear off we will be able to surely tell whether he is actually cured of HIV or not. He is still optimistic and is happy to have taken part in this trial.
"It would be a massive achievement if, after all these years, something is found to cure people of this disease. The fact that I was a part of that would be incredible." he told The Sunday Times.
If this treatment does work then this will be a very major breakthrough. This is really exciting, do let us know how you feel about this in the comments below.