Cure for HIV is almost here! A British man, 44, with HIV who was treated with the vaccine has showed significant progress. Scientists treating the patient are optimistic of him being cured of the virus as he is involved in a medical trial.
A team of researchers from five Britain’ leading universities have come together with the National Health Scheme (NHS) to work on the project. It involves 50 people living with HIV completing a medical trial.
The 44 year old is said to be the first to take part in this test trial. His recent blood tests showed no detectable HIV virus present, though it was too early to confirm the treatment worked.
Managing director of the National Institute for Health Research Office, Mark Samuels, said, “This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure of 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.”
The new technique involves using a two-stage attack on the virus with the aim to overcome a major barrier to cleaning HIV from a sufferer’s body. This has been a challenge to researcher for a long time.
It’s been observed that using antiretroviral therapies didn’t produce necessary result of eradicating the virus from patients living with HIV. This is because the virus hides out of the drug’s reach in the immune system’s T-cells. This new technique by these five universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London – known as the ‘kick and kill’ is first, to expose the virus and then destroy it.
The vaccine then locates the infected T-cells. A drug, Vornostate awakens the dormant T-cells which in turn start producing HIV protein that acts as a homing beacon to the immune system.
Professor Sarah Fidler, from the Imperial College London, said, “The treatment worked in the laboratory and there was good evidence it will work in patients.”
Adding that, “We must stress we’re still a long way from any actual therapy.”