Politics

British Man May Be The First Person Cured Of HIV

| by Shani Shahmoon

Scientists might have for the first time ever cured someone of HIV.

While American scientists have successfully cured mice of HIV, British scientists and researchers have moved on to human trials and results are incredible.

A 44-year-old British man was treated with a new form of therapy that destroys the virus in ways previous treatment methods have failed to do. Recently released blood work confirms that the disease has been fully removed from the mans system, leaving scientists and society on the edge of their seats waiting for official confirmation, the Independent reported.

The man, a social worker, is the first of 50 patients who will complete this new treatment method.

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Previous HIV therapy managed only to the virus only from replicating in the body, but what separates HIV from other diseases is its ability to hide from such treatment.

HIV can integrate itself into a host cell, and create a latent reservoir. This means that, while medication can eradicate obvious HIV cells, it is not able to address these undercover cells that carry the disease. When a person stops taking the currently available medication, they are even more likely to get the disease at an aggressive rate, Very Well reported.

The treatment that this patient received launches a two-part attack on the virus, known as "kick and kill." Unlike previous methods, it destroys the virus in every part of the body, including these dormant reservoirs that have previously been neglected.

These clinical trials come from a collaboration of effort between doctors and scientists from Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King's College London, and are being financed by the National Health Society.

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Although the man who has received this new treatment as part of the trial has made "remarkable progress," these researchers have cautioned that it is too early to determine the accuracy of the experiment.

The U.S has made similar findings, but has yet to implement the methods in a human trial.

On May 3, scientists and researchers from Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh, in a joint collaboration, managed to eliminate HIV from three different types of mice with HIV, the Daily Mail reported.

In this project, scientists used CRISPR-Cas 9, a genetic editing tool, to remove HIV DNA from the cells, similarly targeting these latent reservoirs that have previously been ignored.

The project was tremendously successful in all three pools of mice and will hopefully move to clinical trials on humans, like the NHS study.

Sources: Independent, (2), Very Well, Daily Mail / Photo Credit: Jon Rawlinson/Flickr

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