A 'functional cure' for HIV

By Deana DeLisio,

New research has shown that people who are immediately treated for HIV after they are infected attain a functional cure.

The LA Times has shared that the study, published in PLoS Pathogens, states that earlier this month an infant in Mississippi was functionally cured after given an array of antiretroviral drugs immediately after diagnosis.

In addition to this, scientists in France had watched over fourteen patients who were also immediately treated with HIV drugs upon diagnosis and once they even stopped therapy for seven years, the virus still showed no signs of reoccurrence. This means that even though the patients were off the HIV medications, their bodies were still able to keep the virus under control, as explained in Reuters.

“Early treatment in these patients may have limited the establishment of viral reservoirs, the extent of viral mutations, and preserved immune responses. A combination of those may contribute to control infection in post-treatment controllers," stated Christin Rouzioux, a professor at Necker Hospital and University Paris Descartes and also one of the original team members who discovered HIV nearly 30 years ago. “The shrinking of viral reservoirs… closely matches the definition ‘functional’ cure.”

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