Recently, a team of physicians and scientists from the U.K. reported about a second HIV positive man, who is in long-term HIV remission after getting the treatment for Hodgkins Iymphoma. After the unexpected success, discussion has begun about a potential HIV cure.
Since 2008, scientists are in the process of replicating the treatment by which the “Berlin patient” was successfully cured. Many researchers in this field wanted to learn about the miracle treatment which cured this man. However, no one has been successful in replicating that treatment till now.
What is HIV?
The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is responsible for causing AIDS. Till now, around 75 million people all over the world have been affected by the disease. At present around 37 million people are suffering from the disease and 1.1 million out of them are from the U.S.
The revolution of this field began in 1996 when HIV anti-retroviral therapy medications were introduced. These drugs stop the replication of HIV and the infected person is then able to regain a functioning immune system.
Even though they are effective, the infected person must not skip the medicines. Further, they come with several distressing side effects and are very expensive.
The ‘CURE’ Treatment
Things changed at the Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, Massachusetts in 2008. Timothy Ray Brown from Berlin was successfully cured of the disease. The aggressive treatment involves destroying the immune system of the person using high dosage of radiation or chemotherapy. After that new stem cells are transplanted.
The treatment involves huge risk and involves several complications like blood clots, liver disease and graft-versus-host disease.