Scientists have been trying for years to find a cure for HIV. So far, there has only been one person who has been cured of HIV. This year another possible cure was reported but it is still too soon to say with certainty if it really has.
But different scientist and different studies show that we might be closer to a cure than we think.
Linos Vandekerckhove, a Belgian scientist, has researched for years for a cure and is optimistic that the path has been paved. His study revealed that “having a medicine that would only target the lymph nodes is wrong. What this shows is that you need to focus on many organs, not just one.”
These findings have made his fellow Belgian Jonathan Bossaer optimistic of what is to come.
“Ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic is an enormous challenge and research for a cure and a vaccine needs our full support,” he said.
“The fight is far from over, but we are on the right path.”
A different study conducted by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine also suggests that we are closer to finding a cure. Researches at UCSD ”identified a key switch that has the potential to eliminate dormant HIV reservoirs.”
“This is one of the key switches that the HIV field has been searching for three decades to find,” said Tariq Rana, professor of pediatrics and genetics at UCSF. “The most exciting part of this discovery has not been seen before. By genetically modifying a long noncoding RNA, we prevent HIV recurrence in T-cells and microglia upon cessation of antiretroviral treatment, suggesting that we have a potential therapeutic target to eradicate HIV and AIDS.”
At the same time, ´amfAR Countdown To A Cure For Aids´ recently published an article where they too state that a cure might be on the way. Through their research ”they have termed convertibleCAR-T cells with a combination of micAbodies to kill HIV-infected—but not uninfected—T cells.”
”Within 48 hours, these convertibleCAR-T cells were able to reduce by half the reservoir of inducible, latently infected cells obtained from the blood and tissues of HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral treatment.”
They are currently conducting mouse studies to test these convertibleCAR-T cells.
These emerging technologies “create a promising killing platform for attacking the latent HIV reservoir.”
A different approach is that of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This is a mix of modern medicines which up until now patients had to take regularly. But as researchers were trying to measure ”the effects of ART on the virus reservoir so that they can up with a better solution that can kill the virus permanently and hopefully cure HIV and AIDS” they noticed that ”the viral strains in the HIV reservoir were related to the strains that have been formed during the beginning of the treatment.”
Ronald Swanstrom, the senior co-author of the reports said that “It comes off like a big surprise and if we could understand the procedure of reservoir formation better, we might be able to stop their formation from the start of the treatment.”
There have been several studies that show the the progress we´ve made in the past years is enormous. Curing HIV does not sound as unbelievable as it once did.