Cure for HIV-AIDS is under research at various institutes and different approaches are applied to find a functional cure for the disease. Jessica Conway, who is an expert in patterns studying is working on a mathematical model that could predict the virus data including the time taken by them to rebound after antiretroviral therapy (ART) medicines are stopped.
Conway and her team spoke at the recent Dynamic Days conference in Hartford, Connecticut in early January about the model which could help to find the functional cure for HIV. The aim is to find the virus rebound even when the disease is at an undetectable level without any drug intervention and cure HIV and AIDS for once and all.
Mathematical Model to Found the Virus Rebound Time
HIV infects the white blood cells called CD4 cells, and then replicate themselves to spread in the human body. While ART treatment can stop the replication cycle, it can’t be considered as a permanent functional cure. The primary reason is that once the HIV infected people stop taking ART medications, the virus starts to replicate again and the viral load (HIV in the blood) jumps back to a higher value.
But there is no fixed rate at which the rebound happens as it can take days to years depending on several conditions. Jessica Conway is working on a mathematical model that could predict the variability and found the accurate rebound time for HIV. Conway is very close to find the virus rebound time and with a few more experiments, the model will be almost perfect.
Functional Cure for HIV
Conway wants to use the HIV rebound model to provide information to the doctors so that they can have better clinical trials which could lead to finding a functional cure for HIV and AIDS. As per her model, 90% of the people get the viral rebound within 1 to 4 weeks, and it could mean they could get tested on time and develop strategies to stop the virus from forming again.
Even the smallest latent reservoir could lead to stopping the virus from rebounding and doctors can monitor an individual to determine when to stop their drugs and in future a functional HIV-AIDS cure.