Remember the second person who has ever been cured of HIV last year? Well, there's more to the good news! And there was no need to suppress the immune system intensively for a bone marrow transplant, which may sometimes be fatal.
Another HIV patient was reportedly cured of HIV according to a recent research published in the journal Nature.
The study included 63 people who were able to control the HIV in their bodies without drugs, who are also called "elite controllers." Consequently, they reached a consensus that some people literally trap the virus in their genome that it cannot replicate or infect other cells anymore. These participants might have achieved a "functional cure" without any drugs.
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However, these individuals make up only 0.5% of infected patients.
One of the patients, Loreen Willenberg, has been participating in clinical trials for more than 15 years, who is 66 now, as the New York Timesreported.
As Loreen Willenberg was tested negative after the infection for a long time, her cells were examined head to toe.
"...in one elite controller, we were unable to detect intact proviral sequences despite analyzing more than 1.5 billion peripheral blood mononuclear cells..." explains the study.
HIV can only be detected through the immune system cells' memory in the rare virus-suppressing bodies, as the patients' immune systems do not produce antibodies or immune cells for HIV.
Promising but rare condition
“This unique group of individuals provided to me sort of a proof of concept that it is possible with the host immune response to achieve what is really, clinically, a cure,” Dr. Deeks said, as New York Times reported.
The promising results are rare, but according to the researchers, there are more "elite controllers" who are not aware of themselves yet. Researchers are also hopeful that this might be the case for HIV patients who received antiretroviral therapy for more than 20 years and suppressed the virus.