A 44-year-old British man may be the first patient to ever be cured of HIV. He was the first participant to complete the tests of the new trial conducted by a team of researchers and scientists from 5 of the top universities in the UK. There are a total of 50 HIV positive patients participating in said trial, and are continuing with treatment. The results of the first patient have led to a promising start.
It is the first treatment for HIV that has been engineered to eradicated the virus in all parts of the body, including within the dormant T-cells that cause the virus to still be present after typical treatments. Currently, the use of anti-retroviral drugs has been the primary treatment for HIV. Antiretro-viral therapies (Art) simply prevent the current virus from developing into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This is only to manage the present condition of the patient, rather than to completely heal them.
(source via Dazed Digital)
Mark Samuels, managing director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, remarked that this has been one of their first serious attempts at coming up with a complete cure for HIV. He added that the progress that they’ve made within the early stages has already been remarkable.
According to this article from The Telegraph, the treatment comes in 2 stages. A vaccine helps the body recognise the HIV-infected cells so it can clear them out. Afterwards, a drug called Vorinostat activates the dormant T-cells so they can be spotted by the immune system to get rid of them.
According to Professor Sarah Fiddler of Imperial College London, this method has ‘worked in the laboratory and there is good evidence it will work in humans too’. However she states that they still have a long way to go before being able to release formal therapy. She advises that Art should still be the primary treatment for HIV for the time-being.