a woman’s body may have a “sterilizing remedy” for HIV – .

a woman’s body may have a “sterilizing remedy” for HIV – .

Researchers say they have found a second patient whose body apparently got rid of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS – supporting hopes it may one day be possible to find a way to cure more people from the virus.

The patient has not received any regular treatment for her infection but is a rare “elite controller” of the virus who, eight years after being first diagnosed, shows no signs of active infection and shows no signs. virus in his body, researchers reported. On Monday. This has only been reported once before.

The international team of scientists reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine that the patient, from the town of Esperanza, Argentina, showed no signs of intact HIV in many of her cells, suggesting that ‘she may have naturally achieved what they describe as a “sterilizing cure” for HIV infection.

The 30-year-old woman in the new study is just the second patient who has been described as having obtained this sterilization cure without the help of a stem cell transplant or other treatment. The other patient who has been described as having achieved this goal was a 67-year-old woman named Loreen Willenberg.

“A sterilization cure for HIV has only been observed before in two patients who received a highly toxic bone marrow transplant. Our study shows that such healing can also be achieved with natural infection – in the absence of a bone marrow transplant (or any other type of treatment at all), ”wrote Dr Xu Yu, of Ragon. Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard, which authored the study, in an email to CNN on Monday.

“The examples of such a naturally occurring cure suggest that current efforts to find a cure for HIV infection are not elusive, and that the prospects of achieving an ‘AIDS-free generation’ may ultimately be. successful, ”Yu wrote.

Yu, Dr Natalia Laufer in Argentina, and their colleagues analyzed blood samples taken from the 30-year-old HIV-positive patient between 2017 and 2020. She had a baby in March 2020, which also allowed scientists to collect blood. placental tissue.

The patient was first diagnosed with HIV in March 2013. She did not start any antiretroviral therapy until 2019, when she became pregnant and began treatment with the drugs tenofovir, emtricitabine and raltegravir for six months. during its second and third trimesters, the researchers noted. After giving birth to a healthy HIV negative baby, she stopped treatment.

Analysis of billions of cells in her blood and tissue samples showed that she had already been infected with HIV, but during the analysis, the researchers found no intact virus capable of replicating itself. All they could find were seven defective proviruses – a form of virus that gets integrated into the genetic material of a host cell as part of the replication cycle.

Researchers are unsure how the patient’s body apparently got rid of an intact and replicating virus, but “we believe it is a combination of different immune mechanisms – cytotoxic T cells are probably involved, the innate immune mechanism may also have contributed, ”Yu wrote in his email.

“Increasing the number of individuals with possible sterilization treatment status would facilitate our discovery of the immune factors that lead to this sterilizing treatment in a larger population of HIV-infected individuals. “

Around 38 million people are living with HIV worldwide. When left untreated, an infection can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Last year, around 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses around the world.


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