The HIV Virus Was Completely Eliminated from a British Patient’s Blood

· April 23, 2017
According to UN statistics, the number of HIV-infected people exceeded 36 million by 2015. If this new treatment is successful, it could offer hope for many.

Getting infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is perhaps one of the greatest fears worldwide.

According to UN statistics, the number of HIV-infected people exceeded 36 million by 2015. If this new treatment is successful, it could offer hope for many.

This infection occurs when HIV infects the cells of the immune system.

It alters the immune system or completely stops it from functioning, which prevents our body from fighting off other infections and diseases.

After infection, the patient may be unaware that they have HIV. This is because there are no evident symptoms of the disease at the beginning. Alternatively, the patient may only think they are suffering from a brief period of the flu.

However, as the disease progresses, the immune system weakens, which significantly increases the risk of respiratory infections, tumors, and other chronic conditions.
Unprotected sex with an infected person is the main way HIV is transmitted. However, the virus infects others by:

  • Receiving a contaminated blood transfusion.
  • Using infected needles or razors.
  • An infected mother passing it on to her child during pregnancy, delivery, or when breastfeeding.

In the time since its discovery, this disease has presented a challenge to the medical and scientific community. This is not only for the different ways it affects patients but also because it’s difficult to control and treat.

In fact, although significant advances have been made, there’s still no definitive cure for HIV.


However, all this is about to change thanks to a new development that has brought hope for a cure.

We recommend reading: 6 Situations in Which You Should not Have Sex Relations

Is this the end of HIV? A group of British scientists is on the brink of a cure

cientficos-britnicos-eliminaron-vih-de-un-paciente

The HIV virus disappeared from a 44-year-old British patient whose identity remains anonymous.

The treatment is part of an experimental study involving prestigious UK universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, and King’s College London.

The first phase modifies the virus which allows the immune system to detect it. It then generates the antibodies needed to remove it from the blood.

For now, this treatment tested on another 50 patients, but doctors have high expectations for the results.

This man’s case is the first where the virus disappeared completely.

 

Estudio preliminar

Despite this, experts point out that it’s still too early to say we have a definitive cure. It’s necessary to repeat the tests on the patient periodically to check that the virus doesn’t return.

HIV hides very well in the body. Typically, doctors detect the virus months after the initial infection.

“This is one of the first serious attempts at a complete cure for HIV. 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,” said Mark Samuels, managing director of the British National Institute for Health Research.

What does this new therapy entail?

El estudio

One of the major difficulties for scientists when it comes to the development of the disease is how to detect the virus.

This is because it has the ability to be attached to T-cells, which become its main means of reproduction.

Unfortunately, current treatments can’t detect infected T-cells.  This is why British scientists have focused on this area.

The new therapy could become the only one to follow and destroy HIV from all affected areas.

The treatment come is two steps. Firstly, the patient receives a vaccine that helps the immune system detect infected cells to begin the cleaning process.

Then, in a second stage, the doctor administers a drug called Vorinostat to the patient. This drug has been used in severe cases of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and it already shows some success in vitro.

When successful, this treatment not only cleanses the body of all viruses in reproduction, but it also removes those that are inactive.

A promising treatment

While there is evidence of at least two other patients cured, this particular case is quite special. This is because millions of people infected with HIV in the world could benefit from it if successful.

According to UN estimates, the number of people infected with HIV in 2015 amounted to more than 36 million. In fact, this disease is considered one of the most serious public health problems.