Science and technology are improving day-by-day. Everyone is focusing on the cure for the pandemic and this made us skip a great medical achievement. We could soon have the world’s first HIV patient cured. The 34-year-old Brazilian went into long-term remission after being treated for less than one year with an intensified multi-drug cocktail of AIDS medicines.
The Brazilian was diagnosed with HIV in 2012. Then, he was treated with antiretroviral therapy, also known as ART. A boost was given with additional antiretroviral and a drug known as nicotinamide. Nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. The heavy treatment was stopped after 48 weeks. The doctors stated that 57 weeks later the patient’s HIV DNA and HIV antibody test remained negative.
Andrea Savarino, co-lead the trial. He is a doctor at Italy’s Institute of Health. He gave an interview to UK charity NAM AIDSmap. He said, “This case is extremely interesting, and I really hope that it may boost further research into an HIV cure.” However, he cautioned that four other HIV-positive patients treated in the trial with the same intensity drug cocktail trial saw no success against the AIDS-causing virus. He added, “The result is highly likely not to be reproducible. This a very first (preliminary) experiment and I wouldn’t foresee beyond that.”
The race for developing a cure and vaccine for COVID-19 is still in its early stages. While the struggle for the AIDS epidemic which began in the 1980s is still ongoing. The AIDS epidemic has infected 75 million people and taken lives of almost 33 million to date. Patients with access to AIDS drugs can be seen controlling the virus and keep a check on it. Though, the current active case count stands at around 38 million people.
Hopes of a cure for the AIDS epidemic have been boosted from the last few years. This was majorly due to two separate cases of remission in men who were seen as ‘functionally cured’ after being treated with highly risky and complex bone marrow transplants.
Recently, an AIDS conference was held in San Francisco. Sharon Lewin, an attendee, an HIV specialist at Australia’s Doherty Institute commented on the achievement. She said that it was very interesting but also raised many questions. She added, “As this man was part of a larger clinical trial, it will be important to fully understand what happened to the other participants.”
We lack the scientific knowledge and would like to leave the research work to the professionals. Getting positive news surely boosts the morale of people across the globe. Be it patients, researchers, scientists, and other people. We hope that soon science and technology find a solution for AIDS.