A Argentine patient seems to have cleared the virus from his body HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) without medicine or treatment, in which it would be the second documented case of this type in the world.
The doctors believe that the patient’s immune system eliminated the virus that caused the Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Upon examination of more than a billion of his cells, no remnants of the infection were found, reportedly reported in the medical journal. Archives of Internal Medicine.
Scientists believe that if they can figure out how the process occurred, they could find a way to find a definitive cure for HIV.
The finding is further proof that some people are born naturally resilient to the virus.
Some have genes that prevent infection.
Others, including the “patient hope ”, as called upon to respect her wish to remain anonymous, they appear to have been able to clear the virus after contracting it.
But most people need to take antiretroviral drugs for life to keep the virus at bay.
If you stop taking them, it can reactivate and cause problems again.
However, in recent years some reports have shown the existence of so-called “Elite controllers”, They can suppress the virus with help, but without medication.
Adam Castillejo, London resident, you were able to stop taking your pills every day after receiving mother cells of a donor to treat the cancer that also suffered.
His HIV-infected cells were killed and replaced during his anti-HIV treatment. Cancer.
The person who donated the stem cells turned out to be part of the 1% of the population that is born with genes that prevent HIV from penetrating and infecting cells.
It is not clear how long Castillejo will enjoy this beneficial effect.
The hope of “Hope”
But the patient “Hope” has not shown traces of the virus for more than Eight years.
Loreen Willenberg, from San Francisco (United States), it also seems to have been cured thanks to its own immune system. And this offers hope of finding a “sterilizing cure” for other patients.
The researcher Xu Yu, from the Ragon Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and of the Harvard University, He said: “There could be a viable route to a sterilizing cure for people who cannot do this on their own.”
“We are studying the possibility of using vaccines to induce this type of immunity in patients who are on antiretroviral treatment, with the aim of educating their immune system so that it is able to control the virus without antiretrovirals ”.
The teacher John Frater, of the University of Oxford, told the BBC that although it is almost impossible to say that someone has been definitively cured of HIV, researchers have done “as much as could be expected of them with current technology” to prove it.
“The key question is whether this patient has actually healed on her own or, instead, had some kind of abortive infection, which tried to break through, but was controlled in time.
“Your immune system clearly shows a memory of being infected, so there is no doubt that it was. “
“In any case, there could be similar patients out there, offering a lot to learn in the search for an HIV cure.”
The teacher Sarah Fidler, HIV Expert at Imperial College London, claimed that this discovery would help design immune therapies currently under development.
But Andrew Freedman, Cardiff University Medical School, assured that the current drugs against HIV are remarkably effective, and while seeking future treatments is important, ensuring access to life-changing antiretroviral treatment is an urgent priority worldwide.