National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), July 24, 2017
A nine-year-old South African child who was diagnosed with HIV infection at one month of age and received anti-HIV treatment during infancy has suppressed the virus without anti-HIV drugs for eight and a half years, scientists reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris. This case appears to be the third reported instance of sustained HIV remission in a child after early, limited anti-HIV treatment.
A new small-scale human trial of the promising “shock and kill” treatment is starting this week in New York and two sister sites, in Germany and Denmark.
Another small human study will start in January, followed by a larger human shock and kill trial in June.
The HIV research community is increasingly optimistic about this approach to eradicating HIV from infected patients. Such removal of all traces of the virus from an individual’s body would represent an actual cure.
While progress toward a vaccine and even a functional cure for HIV has accelerated in recent years, a major obstacle has been the “viral reservoir”—locations and cell types in a body where the virus can persist at very low levels even when treatment has succeeded at making it undetectable in the blood by standard testing.
Published in the Jan. 27 issue of Nature, a new study reports that even in undetectable patients, HIV is still replicating in the lymphoid tissues.
It could be just what HIV researchers the world over have been waiting for – a non-toxic drug that will drive the virus from its hiding places around the body. What is it? The well-known anti-alcohol drug, Antabuse.
In a new study from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Australia, researchers have found that HIV cells in the body of a person receiving antiretroviral treatment become activated 24 times less frequently than previously thought.