Scientists in the UK have expressed optimism in finding a possible cure for HIV. Their study is still in its early stages, but they have revealed that there have been promising results.
The Experimental Therapy
According to the Sunday Times, the researchers only had 50 patients for the experimental therapy. Apparently, one of them has "undetectable" traces of HIV virus in his blood. They have been hopeful with the case of the 44-year-old British social worker.
One of the research's members admitted that it's too early to know for sure. The National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure's Mark Samuels said that it's a challenge but the progress has been remarkable. The absence of the virus may have been caused by conventional medications. The said patient has been taking it, according to Medscape.
The Medical Daily has explained the treatment. They claim that it is a one-two punch approach. The researchers used the standard antiretroviral drugs. This keeps the virus from reproducing.
Then, it eliminates dormant cells that lie in hiding. The latter is impossible for drugs used in antiretroviral therapy (ART). HIV can be treated but not curable with ART. The virus could always return once the therapy is stopped, according to Fox News.
A drug called Vorinostat was used in the second phase of the treatment. The Guardian reports that it tricks the virus into emerging from its hiding places. The drug seems to successfully wipe out the virus. This became evident in the patient.
Still A Long Way To Go For A Cure
The researchers have admitted that they still have to monitor his health. It will take years before they can come up with a certain conclusion. They want to avoid making the same mistakes as before.
Terrence Higgins Trust's Chief Executive Ian Green welcome this development. But he reminded that for now, there is still no cure for HIV. Green added that early diagnosis and effective treatment are important.
The amount of virus in the blood can be reduced. This will allow the patients to still have long and healthy lives. More importantly, the HIV virus cannot be transmitted to others.