'Cured' HIV+ Patients Weren't Cured After All
Author: M. G.
Monday 9th of December 2013 12:50:18 PM

In July 2013 Boston researchers declared two of their patients ‘cured' of their HIV infection after having undergone bone marrow transplants several years ago for cancer and had since stopped their powerful antiretroviral medications.

At first it seemed that the level of virus in the patients' blood lowered to undetectable levels and other research team started designing new therapies following the same strategy.

Unfortunately the Boston team is now detecting a return of the virus in the two subjects' bodies, so Dr. Timothy Henrich of Brigham and Women's Hospital, who presented the preliminary findings Thursday at an international conference of AIDS researchers in Florida, had to review the initial optimism.

He did however provide the scientific community with new interesting findings about the behavior of the virus: "We felt it would be scientifically unfair to not let people know how things are going, especially for potential patients" Henrich said. The latent cells that carry the genetic code of HIV in a seropositive person lurk deeper in the body and more persistently than scientists had ever realized. "This suggests that we need to look deeper, or we need to be looking in other tissues [like] the liver, gut, and brain [...] These are all potential sources, but it's very difficult to obtain tissue from these places so we don't do that routinely." These findings will help in design treatments able to affect new tissues in the human body that had never been considered before.

Research about matters such as cancer or HIV are like a complex ‘sciarada': as soon as you discover something that can help you in finding a solution, many other hurdles come up on your way. ‘AIDS is a weapon of massdestruction' but a cure will be found one day, we can be sure of that. This will happen, sooner or later and we hope as soon as possible. Waiting for the big moment, we can just continue using our good judgment, our awareness -and above all: our condoms. This will help more than years of research, conferences and sensational newspaper titles. Doctors and scientists will always help peoplewho are infected with the virus, but everything still depends from our personal choices. Remember this: prevention is still the only 'cure' for HIV/AIDS.


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