UK Experts are getting close to perfecting a cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus after HIV Sufferer responds well to treatment trials.
A team of experts from five universities treated 50 patients with a new procedure intended for HIV sufferers.
The team used a three-step procedure for this trial. Initially, they employed an antiretroviral drug that inhibits T-cells from reproducing the virus. Found in the bone marrow, T-cells or T lymphocytes form an integral part of the whole immune system.
Subsequently, the patient is administered with immune boosting virus so that his immune system will track and kill infected T-cells in his body.
Another drug, vorinostat is administered to the patient. It acts on the T-cell by forcing it to release proteins inherent only in HIV-infected cells. The body reacts by attacking and killing infected cells.
Experts are optimistic that the new method will eradicate the viruses including those inactive, undetected ones clinging to cells for years. Until that time comes, it is important to educate yourself on the risk of HIV transmission.
A British patient who has shown promising results disclosed that his latest blood samples did not reveal said virus. However, he qualified that it could be a first-hand result of the antiretroviral drug and that there is no official confirmation yet if the virus is gone permanently. Experts agree more tests are needed to prove it as a permanent cure.
To this date, only one patient has been successfully cured of the virus. This patient has gone to Germany initially looking for treatment of leukemia. Doctors transplanted him with stem cells extracted from an HIV-immune donor. The stem cells worked by replacing his infected cells with healthy, HIV-resistant ones.
After three years, he was declared free of said virus and leukemia as well.
While the work of doctors in Germany was a success, scouting for an HIV-resistant donor who is also a perfect match with the stem cell recipient became a huge challenge. The new three-step procedure using two kinds of drugs acting on T-cells may address these challenges.
It will take years before experts could finally succeed on perfecting this three-step cure using drugs acting on T cells. But once they do, imagine how liberating this could be for not one but millions of HIV sufferers worldwide.