Human beings are super smart…look at how far we have come in this world…how many things we have cured and all the technology we have created.
If we put our minds to it we can do almost anything…so why is this tiny virus able to outsmart us?
Early this month, scientists and doctors from the U.K. published news of a second HIV positive man, in London, who is in long-term (18-month) HIV remission after undergoing treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma.
The unexpected success has launched a new round of discussion about a potential cure for HIV.
Scientists have been trying to replicate the 2008 treatment of the cured “Berlin patient” –Timothy Ray Brown, but there has been very limited success.
The Berlin patient achieved his “cure” when undergoing aggressive treatment for leukaemia that involved destroying his immune system with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation followed by receiving new stem cells. This is a difficult treatment that carries a high risk of infection and other complications, blood clots and liver disease.
Researchers learned that Brown and the “London patient” both shared a novel treatment course which included a special agent that rendered the immune cells resistant to HIV infection. Both patients were taken off ARVs and blood tests were not able to detect HIV in their blood.
Both milestones resulted from bone-marrow transplants given to infected patients. Bone-marrow transplantation is unlikely to be a realistic treatment option in the near future.
Powerful drugs are now available to control H.I.V. infection, while the transplants are risky, with harsh side effects that can last for years. This does give some hope that there is a potential concept that could lead to a cure…there still a long road ahead but at least there is a glimmer of hope.