LONDON (CBSMiami) — A British man with HIV could become the very first person to be cured by using a pioneering new therapy.
The treatment of HIV has come a long way – but despite major medical advances, there is still no cure.
That could be about to change very soon.
For decades, the use of antiretroviral therapies has fallen short of ridding patients of HIV as the virus can hide out of the drug’s reach in immune system’s T-cells.
Researchers in trials used a so-called “kick and kill technique,” using a vaccine to train the immune system to spot hidden HIV proteins.
Then another drug is used to kick the dormant T-cells awake, allowing the immune system to kill HIV-infected cells.
The trial is only in its early stages, but already one man in his 40s has tested HIV-free. He’s just the first of 50 people to undergo the pioneering treatment.
It is being led by universities in the United Kingdom, but could have a global impact.
“Internationally, there are 37 million people with HIV – only around half of whom are on a treatment and really everybody should be on a treatment,” said Mark Samuels of the National Institute of Health Research.
Scientists said it could be years until it is known for sure that the new treatment works.
If the trial is successful, it could pave the way for effectively treating the 37 million people around the world living with the virus.