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Video: Scientists Say They First Cured HIV Infection With Drugs
Scientists say they first cured HIV infection with drugs
The "São Paulo patient" shows no signs of HIV infection for 57 weeks after treatment.
T-h9 cell infected with the HIV virus. Photo: NIAID
It is possible that one more patient will join the "London" and "Berlin" patients who have recovered from HIV infection - the "São Paulo". In São Paulo, Brazil, an HIV-positive 36-year-old man underwent medical treatment, after which the virus was no longer detected in his blood. Science reports this, emphasizing that the new case is still far from being called proven. The first presentation on the possible discovery was made at the fully virtual International AIDS Conference.
Currently, two patients are considered cured of HIV infection. Both of them received a bone marrow transplant that contained stem cells with a genetic variant that protects against the immunodeficiency virus. No patient has yet been recognized as recovered due to medication, the São Paulo may be the first.
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The patient in question was diagnosed with HIV in 2012. As part of the study, he was treated with several drugs. Agence France-Presse reported that his drugs included maraviroc and dolutegravir. The third drug was nicotinamide. According to the scientists, the patient shows no signs of HIV infection for 57 weeks without treatment.
“We cannot detect the virus, and the specific reaction to the virus disappears - if a person does not have antibodies, then there are no antigens,” says Ricardo Diaz, an infectious disease expert at the University of São Paulo.
Diaz believes the new treatment, once better understood, could be a more ethical treatment than a bone marrow transplant. The fact is that the transplant was not effective for all patients, some of them died.
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The scientific community is enthusiastic, but cautious about the São Paulo patient.
Am I skeptical? Sure. Intrigued? Undoubtedly,”Dr. Steve Deeks of the University of California told the New York Times. He noted that there will be many more discussions around this case.
"This is impressive data, but very preliminary," Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California, co-organizer of the conference, told the New York Times.