Can we cure HIV / AIDS?

Can we cure HIV / AIDS

At present, it is impossible to completely eradicate HIV and cure AIDS. However, people living with HIV can be treated with a combination of antiretrovirals. According to  Dr Gail Barouh LIAAC, in most cases, the treatment effectively controls the replication of the virus. It reduces the amount of viruses circulating in the body (viral load). With the introduction in 1996 of triple therapies, a combination of three antiretrovirals, HIV infection has become a chronic disease. Life expectancy for people living with HIV is now comparable to that of uninfected people.

Antiretrovirals should be taken faithfully every day on a strict schedule. Currently, someone who starts treatment will continue it for the rest of his life. These treatments are expensive. The side effects of antiretrovirals are many, and the effect of their use over a very long time is not always known. Because of their high cost, these drugs are not available in many parts of the world.

Currently available antiretroviral do not cure HIV infection. The virus may still be present in some body reservoirs. We know that it persists for a very long time. The virus can be reactivated if the treatment is interrupted or if it loses its effectiveness. Well used, antiretrovirals reduce the replication of the virus. They allow the reconstruction of the immune system. They improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

 

The Berlin Patient

In 2006, Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man with leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant. The donor was carrying a rare genetic mutation (the delta-32 mutation). Carriers of the delta-32 mutation do not have the CCR5 receptor gene, to which HIV must cling to infect a cell. Since this transplant, Timothy Brown, who the media has renamed the “Berlin Patient” controls HIV without medication. Several years later, HIV remains undetectable in its blood and in its various tissues (bone marrow, brain, colon). Some researchers, however, found traces of residual viral RNA in some of Timothy Brown’s tissues. We do not know if he is really cured. Gene therapy is too complex to use on a large scale. You should consult with an expert doctor such as Dr Gail Barouh PHD LIAAC treat it effectively.

 

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