French researchers have been able to put the HIV virus into remission in 14 out of 70 adults.
A new report from a small study in France, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, reports that researchers have been able to stop the development of the HIV virus in some adults. The participants were put on antiretroviral drugs within 10 weeks of being infected, and after 3 years of treatment were able to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs without the HIV returning and turning into full blown AIDS. 4 women and 10 men have been off the drugs for about 7 years now and although they have all maintained low levels of HIV in their cells, their body has been able to control the virus without the aid of antiretroviral treatments.
Dr. Asier Saez-Cirion, the lead researcher in the study told the BBC that their findings “suggest that anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of people are able to be ‘functionally cured’ of HIV.” He said, “They still have HIV, it is not eradication of HIV, it is a kind of remission of the infection.” The researchers found that the key to this “remission” was early and aggressive treatment, but they caution that it will not work for the majority of patients with HIV, that it is not a cure, and that patients with HIV should never just stop treatment.
Although it is not a cure, it is very encouraging to know that researchers are that much close to figuring out how to make it possible for those infected with HIV to live without having to take the harsh antiretroviral medications every single day.