A 44-year-old man in England is possibly the first person in history to be cured of HIV. Scientists working on an experimental new therapy say that the virus is now completely undetectable in his blood.
Reports also suggest that there is a team of scientists or researchers from different UK universities who are carrying out experiments on different people to monitor progress.
The 44-year-old social worker from London is the first patient to complete the therapy.
After a clinical drug trial that combined traditional drug treatments with a new medication that reactivates dormant HIV cells, allowing the body to learn how to attack the virus successfully, the patient had no sign of the virus left in his system.
“It would be great if a cure has happened. My last blood test was a couple of weeks ago and there is no detectable virus,” the man told the London Times. “It could be the anti-retroviral therapies, so we have to wait to be sure.”
“This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV,” Mark Samuels, managing director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, was quoted as saying in the report.
“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,” he added.
“This therapy is specifically designed to clear the body of all HIV viruses, including dormant ones,” Professor Sarah Fidler, a consultant physician at Imperial College London, told the Times.
In 2007, the American Timothy Ray Brown underwent a full bone marrow transplant in Germany to treat him for leukaemia, using a donor who was immune to HIV. The stem cells transplanted rebuilt his immune system from the ground up, replacing his own cancerous cells with new ones resistant to HIV.