-Scientist Are A Step Closer To Solving HIV, As A Patient Heals From
HIV meaning "human immunodeficiency virus," is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse or using infected needles or sharp objects. What the virus does is it weakens a person's immune system by destroying important T-cells that fight disease and infection.
British scientist after relentless efforts and trials have succeed in curing a patient from HIV, but also have the patient under surveillance which would last for a while. The trial is being undertaken by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King's College London.
The Scientist/Researchers noted an advancement in their efforts when a 44-year-old social worker in London appears to be completely free of the virus after undergoing an experimental "kick and kill" treatment as part of a trial. The patient first took a vaccine to help his immune system detect infected cells, and then took Vorinostat to activate dormant infected cells that normally don't get caught. After that, it was just a matter of letting the healthy parts of the immune system kill off all the HIV, theoretically eliminating any chance of the virus coming back.
The social worker is just the first of 50 to finish the trial, and he'll have to wait months to confirm that HIV is no longer in his system. There's also a chance that the patient's doses of conventional medicine are contributing to the seemingly clean bill of health. And even if everything is fine after this first experiment, the tests will carry on for another 5 years.
"This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV," Mark Samuels of Britain's National Institute for Health Research told The Sunday Times, Britain's largest-selling national Sunday newspaper.
HIV is so difficult to treat because it targets the immune system, splicing itself into the DNA of T-cells so that they not only ignore the disease, but turn into viral factories which reproduce the virus.
Sarah Fidler, a consultant physician and professor at Imperial College London, said medical tests of the potentially breakthrough therapy would continue for the next five years.
"It has worked in the laboratory and there is good evidence it will work in humans too," Fidler told the British newspaper. "But we must stress that we are still a long way from any actual therapy."