- Treatment News : Virus-Free Gene Therapy for HIV Shows Promise – by Tim Horn
- AIDSmeds – Top Stories : Berlin Patient Follow-Up ‘Strongly Suggests’ HIV Cure – by Tim Horn
- AIDSmeds – Top Stories : New HIV Eradication Study in Progress
- AIDS Cure Research: North Carolina Scientist Study Cancer Drug
- Researchers Identify Two FDA Approved Drugs That May Fight HIV
J on Talking about “anal…
So more than two years ago I wrote about the Berlin patient who had been cured of HIV by a stem cell transplant. The great news is that 3.5 years late, he is still not HIV-positive. As the researchers put it:
“In summary,” the authors write, “our results demonstrate successful CD4+ T cell reconstitution at the systemic level as well as in the [gut] following [transplantation], and additionally provide evidence for the reduction in the size of the potential HIV reservoir overtime. Although the recovered CD4+ T cells are susceptible to infection with X4 HIV infection, the patient remains without any evidence for HIV infection since more than 3.5 years after discontinuation of ART. From these results, it is reasonable to conclude that cure of HIV infection has been achieved in this patient.”
This is not going to be a cure for most people. They had to kill (i.e. ablate or condition) his immune system, then find a donor whose stem cells made a rare particular receptor cell mutation (the long-term non-progressor mutation). Then he was on immune-suppression drugs for a long time.
But still he is the first cure (apart from all those Christians who have been cured over the phone in Boston NOT).
Another promising study that looks at triggering resting T cells / viral reservoirs and then walloping them. Don’t hold your breath though – we’ve been down this path before.
The search for an AIDS cure is about to take a new step as scientists begin human studies involving an existing but little-used cancer drug from Merck, reports Bloomberg News. David Margolis, MD, and his colleagues from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill hope the drug will take them further down the path of finally purging all HIV out of someone’s body, ultimately achieving a cure.
Their mouse model uses decitabine and gemcitabine which are currently approved for cancer treatment, and they actually promote mutagenesis, which is a novel approach. The HIV apparently mutates so much and so quickly it evolves out of existence.
They can be used in lower doses to treat HIV than cancer, but are not available as pills yet. The side effects sound like a bad day with HIV at the best of times.
Obviously we are still many trials away from a cure, but this is looking hopeful like they all do at this stage.
This is the 2nd cure announcement in a few months, so maybe things are looking up.
One third of HIV-positive men participating in a U.K. survey met the criteria for an HIV-related diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a report published in the August 16 issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs. A particularly notable finding was that starting antiretroviral therapy can be a PTSD trigger among people living with HIV.
Chillout at Daylesford
My arty video on our trip to Daylesford for the Chillout Festival
From the Wall Street Journal
"HIV research is undergoing a renaissance that could lead to new ways to vaccinate against the AIDS virus and other viral diseases.
In the latest development, U.S. government scientists say they have discovered three powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91% of HIV strains, more than any AIDS antibody yet discovered. They are now deploying the technique used to find those antibodies to identify antibodies to influenza viruses.
The HIV antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. The trick for scientists now is to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone’s body produce them as well. "
No vaccine yet, but who knows. This may be the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for