HIV may be cured 'within months': On the brink of AIDS vaccine
According to The Telegraph on Thursday, Danish researchers say a cure for human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS, may be within reach.
The scientists are testing a strategy in clinical trials in which the HIV is stripped from human DNA and destroyed by the immune system.
The technique involves unmasking the “reservoirs” formed by the HIV virus inside resting immune cells, bringing it to the surface of the cells. Once it comes to the surface, the body’s natural immune system may be able to kill the virus.
"I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV," said Dr. Ole Sogaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, according to the news report. So far the clinical trials are "promising," he said.
Lab tests were so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council granted 12 million Danish kroner, about $2.1 million, to finance human trials.
These are under way with 15 patients taking part.
Current treatments allow HIV patients to live almost normal lives and lifespans, but if the medications are cut off, the HIV reservoirs become active and start to produce more of the virus, meaning symptoms can reappear within weeks.
Finding a cure would free a patient from the need to take continuous HIV medication, and save health services untold billions of dollars worldwide.