A man diagnosed with HIV and treated with a new cocktail of medications has now gone into remission, in a breakthrough researchers say could lead to a cure for the virus.
The 34-year-old Brazilian started antiretroviral therapy (ART) and was given other medications which included nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3.
He was treated for forty-eight weeks and then stopped taking the medications. Fifty-seven weeks later, HIV DNA could not be found in his cells and HIV tests come back negative.
“This case is extremely interesting, and I really hope that it may boost further research into an HIV cure,” Dr. Andrea Savarino of the Institute of Health in Italy told the U.K. AIDS organization Aidsmap. Savarino co-led the trial.
“The result is highly likely not to be reproducible,” he cautioned, calling it a “preliminary” result. He added the four other people received the same treatment but that it did not put HIV into remission for them.
HIV specialist Sharon Lewin of the Doherty Institute in Australia commented that the case is “very interesting.”
“As this man was part of a larger clinical trial, it will be important to fully understand what happened to the other participants,” she said.
As ‘LGBTQ Nation’ reports, this announcement represents the first person known to be cured of HIV through medication. While currently available medications can lower a person’s viral load to the point where it’s undetectable, the virus’s DNA remains in what’s called the “viral reservoir” – immune cells that are infected with the virus but not actively producing it.
In the past two decades, there have been only a handful of people whose HIV has gone into remission, using different treatments.
Read related myGwork articles here: