Finally some good news about AIDS… According to a paper published in PLOS Pathogens on March 14, fourteen adults are nearly clear of HIV following aggressive treatment soon after contracting the virus. Following the announcement earlier this month that an infant had been functionally cured of HIV by very early treatment, these, I chalk up under Good section.
A lot of people who contract HIV do not know they are infected so soon, but this 14 patients all had come to the hospital for unrelated reasons, tested positive for HIV and started anti-retroviral therapy within 10 weeks of getting the virus, BBC News reported.
They took the drugs for around 3 years, this is the point the virus comes back in most patients who stop taking drugs, but the 14 patients have gone between 4 and 10 years without relapsing, NPR reported, and now, very small amounts of the virus do remain.
“They still have HIV, it is not eradication of HIV, it is a kind of remission of the infection,” Asier Sáez-Cirión, a scientist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and lead author of the study, told the BBC.
The scientists believe the anti-retroviral drugs knocked down the virus before it could fully establish itself in reservoirs in the body where it can hide from the immune system, but that early treatment likely only has these dramatic results in a small subset of patients.
Via: The Scientist