According to UN statistics, the number of people infected with HIV exceeds 36 million in 2015. If confirmed, this treatment can be a hope for many people.
Infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be one of the most feared diseases. This happens when HIV successfully infects the body's immune system cells, alters or completely cancels its function, which prevents it from fighting infection and disease.
After being infected, patients can ignore it because, At first, there are usually no convincing symptoms, or only a short period of flu is experienced. However, along with the development of the disease, the immune system is weakened and greatly increases the risk of respiratory infections, tumors, and other chronic diseases.
How viruses are transmitted
The main method of transmission of the virus is unprotected sex with an infected person. However, that can also occur with:
- Contaminated blood transfusion.
- Use of infected needles or knives.
- From an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding.
From his discoveries and to this day, HIV has represented a challenge for the medical and scientific community, not only because of the different ways of influencing patients, but because of difficult controls and treatments, as reported by Better Health.
And even though very significant progress has been made, There is still no sure cure for an infected person. However, all this can change thanks to new advances that bring new hope.
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End of HIV?
HIV is completely lost from the blood of a British patient 44 years old whose identity was not revealed. Treatment is part of an experimental study involving the most prestigious universities in the UK, such as: Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London, University College and King's College London.
The first phase of this research consists of modifying the virus so that it can be detected by the immune system. Then, this will produce the antibodies needed to remove it from the blood.
It was tested in 50 other patients, but doctors had a lot of hope with the results. This man's case was the first to show that the virus was completely gone.
Experts point out that it is still too early to celebrate definitive healing, so it is necessary to repeat the test to the patient, often, to verify that the virus has not returned.
They also remember that HIV is a virus that can hide very well, therefore it can be detected months after the initial infection.
This is one of the first serious attempts at total cure for HIV. We are exploring real possibilities to cure it. This is a big challenge and, even though it is still early, progress has been extraordinary, said Mark Samuels, general director of the British National Institute of Health.
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What is the new therapy?
One of the major difficulties that exist for scientists, in terms of disease progression, is the detection of viruses. It has the ability to enter T cells, which are their main reproductive organs. Current treatments cannot detect infected T cells and, for that reason, British scientists focus on that.
New therapies can follow and destroy HIV, from all affected areas. The first vaccine will be applied which will help the immune system to detect infected cells, to begin the cleansing process.
In the second stage, a drug called vorinostat will be given, which is used in the case of severe skin T cell lymphoma and which has shown some success in vitro. Treatment can not only cleanse the body of all viruses in reproduction, but also those who are not active.
Although there is evidence of at least two other cases of patients recovering from HIV, this case is quite special because, if successful, That can be applied to millions of virus carriers in the world.
According to UN estimates, the number of people infected in 2015 amounted to more than 36 million and that is one of the most serious public health problems.