The trial is being conducted by five British universities in collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service. These parties believe that they’re on the verge of defeating HIV once and for all.
Mark Samuels, Managing Director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, said that the trial was one of the first serious attempts at curing HIV. He added that it was a huge challenge, and the trial is still in its infancy, however the progress that has been made to date is truly remarkable.
The difficulty with treating HIV is that it hides in dormant cells that the human immune system cannot get to. The treatment being used in the clinical trial is the first that’s aimed at destroying HIV in every part of the body.
Current antiretroviral drugs are effective at stopping HIV in its tracks, however no treatment that kills off the virus altogether has been discovered to date. This new treatment, therefore, has the hope of 37 million people around the globe riding on it.
If the man is cured, he will become only the second person in history to have been cured from the debilitating illness. The only person known to have been cured of HIV is an American man named Timothy Ray Brown, who was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was known to be resistant to HIV (only 1% of the entire world population was born with some form of HIV resistance).
That kind of treatment is too specific, too costly, and too dangerous to be used widely, which is why this new trial is causing a lot of excitement. With that being said, no-one is taking anything for granted, including the male patient himself.
In the meantime, all the world can do is sit back and wait for news of the trial to come through.
Content Source: Science Alert
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