Mar 22, 2013 | Weekly Articles
A couple of weeks after revealing that a baby has been ‘cured’ of HIV, there are reports that 14 adults also, have been treated. Early treatment seems crucial, but does not guarantee success. Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Pasteur Institute’s unit for regulation of retroviral infections in Paris analyzed 70 people with HIV who had been treated with anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).
All of the participant’s drug regimes had been interrupted for one reason or another. Most of the people relapsed when their treatment was interrupted, with the virus rebounding rapidly to pre-treatment levels. But 14 of them – four women and 10 men – were able to stay off of ARVs without relapsing, having taken the drugs for an average of three years.
The 14 adults still have traces of HIV in their blood, but at such low levels that their body can naturally keep it in check without drugs. “It’s not eradication, but they can clearly live without pills for a very long period of time,” says Sáez-Cirión.