Written by Lahiru Fernando
03 Oct, 2016 | 7:05 pm
After years of testing and researching, a cure may have been found for HIV with a 44-year-old British man on the verge of going down in the history books as the first person in the world to be cured of HIV.
The previously “HIV-Positive” unidentified man was treated with a new therapy designed to put an end to the virus. Follow-up tests have revealed that the virus is no longer detectable in his blood. The scientists pointed out that the results could showcase the first complete cure, as the dormant cells are cleared out.
‘Tis a reason to celebrate. However, researchers have warned that it is still too early to confirm if the treatment has worked 100%.
“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 of Britain’s National Institute for Health Research
“This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV,” he added.
Designed by a team of scientists from five UK universities, the treatment launches a two-stage “kick and kill” attack on the virus. It is unique in that it tracks down and destroy HIV in every part of the body —including in the dormant cells that evade current treatments.
The trial is being undertaken by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London.
What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus – a virus that targets the body’s immune system and weakens its defence systems against infections and disease.
What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV progresses in stages:
1. Acute Infection:
The early period of infection when large amounts of the virus are being produced in the body
2. Clinical Latency:
The virus continues to reproduce at very low levels
The most advanced stage of the HIV infection
How many people have it?
Around 35 million people worldwide.
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