For nearly twelve years, scientists have been trying and failed to duplicate the procedure that led to the first ever successful HIV treatment of a patient in 2007. Their hard work seemed to have paid off when the news broke: a London patient was cured from the HIV infection.
Although many experts refer to it as a ‘cure’, the scientists are publicly calling it as one case of long-term remission. This admonition of how the treatment should be called is caused by the fact that it only happened twice. Both successful treatments involved bone-marrow transplants originally intended for cancer patients.
“This will inspire people that cure is not a dream. It’s reachable,” announced Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a University Medical Center Utrecht virologist and co-leader of IciStem.
Today, HIV infection can be managed by powerful drugs, considering the transplants are dangerous. But the experts saw the potential of rearming the body with immune cells modified to act like the drugs to resist the virus.
Among the 38 patients who were given bone-marrow transplants, the London patient has the continued weak symptoms of infection in one of the 24 tests. Although his development was similar to the first cured HIV patient, none of the tests guarantee that the London patient is forever free of HIV.
Several teams of experts are currently working on identifying the science behind the patient’s treatment and complete recovery.
The London patient felt overwhelmed, “I never thought that there would be a cure during my lifetime.” The first patient to be cured from HIV expressed his hope, “If something has happened once in medical science, it can happen again.”
The scientists and other experts in the field of global AIDS epidemic are continuously working towards complete lifetime treatment for HIV and AIDS.
Some were even inspired and motivated from this breakthrough. The world has been waiting for an HIV treatment that would cure a patient. “These dreams are motivated by cases like this — it helps us to imagine what might be done in the future,” shared Dr. Mike McCune, a senior adviser on global health at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
To learn more about this amazing new development watch the video below courtesy of ABC News:
(Note: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only and not to be treated as a professional opinion, recommendation or medical diagnosis.)