Have we just found HIV AIDS cure? Multiple studies have shown great promise that immunotherapy may be the cure for the deadly disease. Immunotherapy has already made a huge difference in treatment options for neurology, oncology and several infectious diseases.
Studies from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham confirm promising results from immunotherapy. It gives hope that immunology may be used for the functional cure of HIV.
According to researchers, people suffering from the virus do not have to take daily medications if they go for immunotherapy. The study was conducted on patients chronically suffering from HIV. Researchers found that VRC01 injections generated high antibody levels. It also slightly delayed the HIV viral rebound.
This is, however, only the first step to HIV AIDS cure. The suppression did not go beyond eight weeks for most of the patients who took part in the program. Researchers are working on the long-time suppression of HIV.
People with HIV were treated with the first antiretroviral medicines during the early days of HIV drug development. But, it took no time for the virus to develop resistance and rebound in blood. Later on, combination drugs showed a much promising result, as it managed to prolong the viral suppression.
"I would compare these findings to early days of HIV treatment research in the late 1980s," Medical Xpress quoted Pablo Tebas, the director of the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Penn, as saying. "In this study, we looked at one antibody, but we think it may take combinations of more potent antibodies to successfully control the virus."
According to Tebas, immunotherapy aims to eliminate the use of daily medication. At the same time, it tries to chip away at the virus-infected cells. But, researchers are still years away from achieving HIV AIDS cure. Long-term follow-up is required even for those who are functionally cured of HIV.
Nature earlier reported that scientists used a combination of drugs and vaccines. There was successful remission in monkeys infected with SIV, HIV's counterpart for monkeys. With so much research is going on, HIV AIDS cure may soon be a reality.