The cure for HIV close after virus 'vanishes' from blood of British man

By Mieke Vlok
03 October 2016

A cure for the world’s most dreaded disease is possibly on the horizon after doctors in England succeeded in making the virus disappear from a man’s blood.

“We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV. This is a huge challenge and it's still early days but the progress has been remarkable,” said Mark Samuels, managing director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure in England to the Sunday Times.

Researchers at five different universities in England – including Oxford and Cambridge – are busy testing new methods on fifty volunteers.

This treatment has two phases, the first of which involves a vaccine which helps the body recognise the HIV-infected cells so that they can be destroyed. During the second phase a newly developed medicine activates the dormant HIV cells so they can be tracked and destroyed.

All signs of the HIV virus was removed from the blood of the volunteer, a 44-year-old social worker from London, and researchers hope that they’re one step closer to finding a cure to the disease which affects roughly 36,7 million people worldwide.

HIV SA, a local non-government organisation, confirmed that local doctors are aware of the new treatment methods currently being researched and that they hope that soon these methods can be tested here too.

Sources: Evening Standard, The Times, The Telegraph.

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