Detail View

Title: Original paper

Article Number: EC2/2015/140

Authors: Dr Matin Ahmad Khan

Topic: Medicine


A cure for HIV has always been  the holy grail of HIV research  though ‘Cure do have   philosophical, and programmatic  connotations in the context of HIV /AIDS. Many developments and strategies have been evolved to tame this virus, since its reporting - some 32 years ago. Medical fraternity is reacting with   guarded appreciation and anticipation ,. more so after the  publication of reports of  Sterilizing /functional cure of a man (known as Berlin patient’) following BMT  from  a donor having  deficient chemo co receptor CCR5 (vital for HIV entry )  gene and one baby , known as ‘ Mississippi  Baby ‘ who was infected with HIV at birth but is now apparently free of the virus. through   a hit hard, hit early approach taken by researchers and doctors in relation to antiretroviral therapy These findings hold out the hope that treatment during acute HIV infection (ala –Mississippi baby ) has the potential to transform the outcome of HIV infection in at least some individuals .The use of early and aggressive treatment could be a paradigm shift in HIV/AIDS treatment in children in the developing world, where mothers are typically treated during pregnancy to lower the risk of passing the virus on to the child. Both long-term survivors and those who have been exposed to HIV but remain sero negative   (called  Elite  Controllers  and Slow/Non Progressors ) offer a great opportunity to study the mechanisms of resistance to HIV infection and disease. Till ‘Cure ‘ is not achieved we will have to  remain steadfast in working towards it .


Keywords : Sterilizing Cure, Functional cure , CCR5, Mississippi baby, Berlin patient , Hit early hit hard approach, reservoirs 


    COMMENT - 1

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 16th Nov 2015 - 3:51 PM
    Cure of HIV/AIDS has been fascinating through its journey since it was first reported in June 1981..When at least one persons has been reported to be functionally cured of HIV/AIDS , it gives some hope that we are approaching near ir eradication. We too sincerely hope that HIV/AIDS will be cured of people living with HIV/AIDS in their life times.

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 17th Nov 2015 - 9:20 AM
    Timothy Ray Brown, of US is the only person in the world to have cured at least functionally, inspires current research efforts . Curing HIV — which less than a decade ago was considered so unlikely it was not even a serious candidate for research — is now the focus of a conference drawing community advocates, students and many of the nation’s leading scientists working on HIV.That first cure was not easy. The Seattle-born Brown received a blood stem cell transplant in Berlin in 2007 to treat acute myeloid leukemia. His German doctor, Dr. Gero Hütter, decided to try to also cure Brown’s HIV infection by finding a stem cell donor who carried two copies of a gene mutation known to confer natural resistance to the virus. He has not taken antiretroviral medication since his transplant.
    Efforts to replicate his cure in other HIV-positive patients with leukemia have failed to show the same results, in part because many of the patients died from the cancer or the transplant before it could be determined whether their HIV was gone. Physicians agree that a risky stem cell transplant is only appropriate for people who face a life-threatening cancer in addition to having HIV.

  • COMMENT - 3

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 17th Nov 2015 - 9:22 AM
    A cure for HIV infection is one of the ultimate long-term goals of research today. The science is expanding, raising hopes and challenges.

    The term “cure” refers to a strategy or strategies that would eliminate HIV from a person’s body, or permanently control the virus and render it unable to cause disease. A range of types of cures are being discussed today. A “sterilizing” cure would completely eliminate the virus. A “functional” cure would suppress HIV viral load, keeping it below the level of detection without the use of ART. The virus would not be eliminated from the body but would be effectively controlled and prevented from causing any illness. The term “remission” is also used and it means the virus is undetectable using the most sensitive tests but could return because small numbers of copies remain. It’s important to know that researchers are still figuring out exactly how to define these types of HIV cures. Although some possible cases of functional cures have been reported, it takes time to be certain that HIV can no longer cause disease, because it is known that even very low levels of virus can increase the risk of certain illnesses and ultimately lead to AIDS.

    The cure strategies currently under investigation are, in many cases, potentially toxic and carry risks for people undergoing them. Figuring out how to communicate the risks and benefits of cure strategies to potential trial participants will be an important part of any cure clinical trial. In order to test whether a person has been cured, they need to stop effective antiretroviral treatment so that viral rebound, if any, can be measured. There are no standardized guidelines for how to time such “treatment interruptions” so that they minimize risks for cure trial participants. Finally, cure strategies may look different for men, women and children—biological differences between sexes and differences in adult versus pediatric immune systems mean that it is unlikely there will be a “one size fits all” cure approach. AVAC is working with partners to track, translate and accelerate cure research.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 17th Nov 2015 - 9:25 AM
    CCR5 is a co-receptor on the surface of CD4+ T cells that, during early HIV infection, is essential to entry of HIV into these cells. HIV attaches to
    both CD4 and CCR5 to achieve entry. (Some variants of HIV use a co-receptor called CXCR4 rather than CCR5; these variants almost always
    occur only late in the course of untreated HIV infection; HIV transmitted from one person to another almost always uses the CCR5
    CCR5 32/ 32
    The 32 indicates a mutation that deletes 32 nucleic acid base pairs from the gene that encodes the cell co-receptor CCR5. The absence
    of these base pairs eliminates the ability of the CCR5 co-receptor to form on CD4+ T cells; the CCR5 co-receptor is needed by most strains of
    HIV to enter and infect these cells. Almost all genes in human cells are present as two copies. If one copy has the 32 mutation, it is called
    heterozygous; if both copies have it, it is called homozygous. Notably, the allogeneic immunesystem transplants that resulted in a sterilizing
    cure of HIV infection in the Berlin Patient (Timothy Ray Brown) had this mutation in both strands of the DNA included in the transplant.

  • COMMENT - 5

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 17th Nov 2015 - 9:31 AM
    We talk about two types of cures.
    HIV Cure (Functional) : This type of cure allows some infected cells to persist in an HIV-infected person’s body but means that antiretroviral therapy is no longer necessary, at least for a long time. With this approach, the immune system should be able to handle the virus that is still in the body. Because such individuals would typically have very low levels of HIV, they would be less likely to transmit HIV to others than most infected people but might be vulnerable to reinfection with other strains of HIV than the one with which they are already infected..

    HIV Cure (Sterilizing) : This type of cure completely eliminates HIV from an infected person’s body, which would likely require activation and killing of all infected CD4+ T cells (and probably infected macrophages and other cells contained in reservoirs). Depending on the strategy used, such
    individuals might or might not be resistant to reinfection with HIV. This approach results in there being no HIV capable of replication left
    in the body, so the person would not be able to transmit HIV to others. However, proving that all HIV has been eliminated from a person’s
    body is very challenging and is not possible with current approaches, except in the case of the Berlin Patient (Timothy Ray Brown)

  • COMMENT - 6

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 17th Nov 2015 - 9:33 AM
    Berlin Patient (Timothy Ray Brown)
    The Berlin Patient (Timothy Ray Brown) is the only person so far to have achieved a sterilizing cure of his HIV infection so far. His cure
    occurred after he had been diagnosed with a leukemia that affects white blood cells called granulocytes that are essential for fighting infections.
    The leukemia would almost certainly have been fatal, so he had nothing to lose by trying a CCR5 32/ 32 transplant of the blood stem cells in his bone marrow. He actually required two transplants (in 2006 and 2007) for the cure to be successful.
    A very serious infection after the second transplant nearly killed him, but he bounced back from it, and remains HIV free. Replicating such a cure
    remains a very high priority of cure research, preferably without requiring the chemotherapy (called conditioning) that Timothy required
    to wipe out his leukemia and prepare his bone marrow for the transplants.

  • COMMENT - 7

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 9:06 AM
    The Difference Between Control, Elimination, and Eradication in the context of HIV/AIDS :
    HIV/AIDS has killed more than 36 million people since the epidemic began in the 1980s, and it remains one of the greatest global health threats of our time. Now, with UNAIDS’ new accelerated strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, it’s more important than ever to prioritize that goal and comprehend what achieving it really means.
    The first step is to understand a few terms that might seems like synonyms to the average person, but each has a very different meaning to public health experts, especially when it comes to ending serious public health threats like HIV/AIDS.
    Disease Control: : When public health experts talk about controlling a disease, they mean reducing the number of new infections, the number of people currently infected, and the number of people who become sick or die from a disease in local settings. This is achieved through deliberate efforts such as vaccines, medications, contact isolation, or other public health interventions. Malaria is a good example of a disease that can be controlled in local settings. You can't get rid of malaria entirely because the mosquito-borne parasites that transmit the disease can develop drug resistance. But you can control it through health care and prevention strategies such as bed nets and anti-malaria medications.
    Regarding HIV/AIDS, controlling the epidemic means providing the care and resources necessary to stop the virus from spreading from one person to another. Medical Science has focused on both preventing mothers from acquiring HIV during pregnancy and breastfeeding and on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) by providing HIV-positive pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and their children with medicines they need keep their babies HIV-free.
    Elimination: : Elimination means stopping the transmission of a disease in a specific geographic area or country, but not worldwide. Often, the first step toward disease elimination is disease control. Pediatric HIV is an example of how, by using control measures like PMTCT to stop the virus from infecting infants and children, the disease among children can be eliminated in some countries. In the United States fewer than 200 babies become newly infected with HIV annually, however, pediatric HIV is still at epidemic levels in sub-Saharan Africa where almost 700 hundred babies become newly infected every single day!
    Eradication: Disease eradication is the permanent reduction of a disease to zero cases through deliberate measures such as vaccines. Once a disease has been eradicated, intervention measures are no longer needed. The only disease to ever be fully eradicated in human history has been smallpox, which was declared officially eradicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1980.
    Now that we understand the terminology, how do we use it when it comes to meeting the ambitious goals set out to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030? The reality is that we must take several steps to end HIV/AIDS.
    As UNAIDS highlighted in its 2014 report, we must scale up current efforts to control the virus by ensuring that more people know their HIV status, are on treatment , and have achieved suppression of the virus in their bodies so they can live healthy lives and can reduce the risk of passing the virus onto others.
    In tandem with these efforts, scientists and researchers must continue to work to develop innovations that could eradicate the epidemic, either through a cure or through the development of a vaccine. However, it is important to note that developing a vaccine and developing a cure are two unique and very complex endeavors that are yet to be successfully developed and put into practice.

  • COMMENT - 8

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 9:27 AM
    A recent report from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) asserts that most countries in the world have been able to control the spread of the disease within their territory.
    Based on the study findings, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sais that if the trend continues, the AIDS epidemic will be completely eradicated by 2030. In a statement, he urged nations around the world to "commit to ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals."
    The UNAIDS report was released 15 years after the Millennium Development Goals, which were decided, agreed and implemented by the members of the U.N.
    The MDGs thus defined focus on certain global issues, including children's health and education. The sixth MDG was set keeping in mind the need to control epidemic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
    The report revealed that in the past 15 years, the number of new HIV infections reported per year has dropped by 35 percent, from 3.1 million in 2000 to 2 million in 2014. As established in one of the goals, 15 million people around the world now have access to the antiretroviral therapy for management of HIV/AIDS.
    In addition, the report claims that the number of deaths due to tuberculosis among the infected persons has reduced by 33 percent, while more than 83 countries have been able to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic. UNAIDS report also revealed the prices for the HIV medicines have dropped by 99 percent in the past decade.

  • COMMENT - 9

  • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Viewer) 18th Nov 2015 - 11:21 AM
    Deciphering the code of cure for one of the most curious researches in the present world is amazing.

  • COMMENT - 10

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 11:34 AM
    Yes , Ms Usha Nandini indeed.At least people are trying to model the cure (,even if it may be even a functionally cure of Berlin patient' ).
    At least we can really expect a cure for HIV in our life times.
    • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Viewer) 27th Nov 2015 - 9:11 PM
      Hopefully, a breakthrough research in the near future for the betterment of the world.

  • COMMENT - 11

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 12:09 PM
    We need the cure more than ever now because major investments in science have resulted in the worldwide availability of over 20 anti-HIV drugs. When used in combination, these drugs restore health, prolong life and reduce transmission of the virus. HIV-infected individuals who harbor drug-susceptible virus, who have access to antiretroviral drugs, who can tolerate the drug side effects, toxicities, and other complications, and who are able to adhere to therapy, can maintain control of HIV infection indefinitely.
    Despite these successes, these therapies have limitations. They do not eradicate HIV, requiring people to remain on expensive and potentially toxic drugs for life. They do not fully restore health as patients still experience co-morbidities such as increased cardiovascular disease, bone disorders or cognitive impairment. They are expensive and difficult to deliver to all in need.
    Although the cost of delivering anti-retroviral drugs to the more than 34 million people now living with HIV has decreased substantially, and the availability of these drugs in resource-poor settings has steadily increased, the costs associated with delivering anti-retroviral drugs is overwhelming many organizations and public health systems. Estimates put the cost of the funding response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2015 to be $22-24 billion per year, and $19-35 billion per year by 2031, with anti-retroviral treatment accounting for up to 70% of the total cost of care in the most affected countries.
    It is estimated that for every person starting treatment, two are newly infected, a path that is clearly unsustainable. Given these limitations, there is growing recognition that the search for an HIV Cure is an imperative both in terms of the individual and public health benefits it would provide and also an opportunity to potentially avoid the long-term cumulative costs of AntiRetroviral Therapy.
    Also, an effective and scalable HIV cure is to essentially stop transmission of HIV to those who are uninfected and restore the immunological function and normal health to those who are infected.
    Scientists have known for some time now that latent HIV reservoirs, where HIV hides and persists, are one of the main barriers to finding a cure. This is precisely why treatment does not eradicate HIV and why, when treatment is stopped, the virus rebounds.
    Several recent observations make scientists enthusiastic about pursuing cure research. For the first time ever there is now a "proof of concept", as scientists like to call it, for an effective cure. The case of Timothy Brown, the so-called "Berlin Patient", who received a stem-cell bone marrow transplant in 2007, and is now considered to be cured of HIV, has proved that a cure is at least possible..This stem cell transplant worked because the donor was among the one percent of Northern Europeans who lack CCR5, the "doorway" through which HIV enters cells. While it is unrealistic to pursue this risky and costly therapeutic approach for most people, it has nevertheless gotten scientists thinking about the use of gene therapy to modify a patient's own immune cells to make them resistant to HIV infection.
    The molecular biology regarding how HIV DNA becomes integrated in the chromosomes of infected people is the focus of intense research. This work has already led to a number of possible interventions, some of which are being tested in the clinic. Recently, in a test in HIV+ patients, David Margolis and colleagues showed that a dose of a drug that inhibits an enzyme involved in HIV silencing leads to rapid production of mv RNA in the patient's latently infected cells. This could make such previously unreachable viral reservoirs susceptible to curative strategies. For example, in combination with treatments that enhance host immune defense, unmasking latent virus might allow clearance of infection.
    Scientists have also been aware of a rare group of HIV infected people who appear to have been naturally "cured" their own infection. These "elite controllers" are HIV+ but have no readily apparent virus in their blood. Scientists are gaining better understanding of this group.
    There exists a unique cohort of patients in France who became HIV infected, started therapy early, and were able to successfully stop therapy without viral rebound (the "Visconti Cohort"). This study confirms the benefits of treating mv at the very early stages of infection, and there is an immensely valuable store of knowledge to be gained from analyzing the immunological characteristics that made therapy redundant for these patients. Understanding this group of people who efficiently control virus replication and reservoirs may lead to novel therapeutics.

  • COMMENT - 12

  • Surya Narayanan Sethumadavan (Viewer) 19th Nov 2015 - 3:05 PM
    Gene manipulation, however interesting, comes with its own share of pitfalls. What are the problems of gene manipulation in HIV / AIDS Treatment?

  • COMMENT - 13

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 20th Nov 2015 - 11:02 AM
    Yes Gene manipulation is not going to be that easier. Ggne therapies that have a single HIV target are potentially subject to the development of viral resistanclike a single anti retroviral durg..For this combined gene therapies that target multiple steps of viral replication are being developed. Several group have combined multiple anti-HIV genes into a single lentivirus vector .
    One interesting approach recently reported by Digiusto et al. used a combination of a tat/rev shRNA, a TAR decoy and CCR5 ribozyme. Patients were treated for AIDS-related lymphoma and received lentiviral vector-modified autologous CD34+ hematopoetic stem cells through transplantation. The procedure was well tolerated and gene modified cells persisted for at least 24 months. However, the frequency of gene-modified cells in peripheral blood was too low (less than 0.2%) to see a clinical benefit for the patients. Due to obvious ethical concerns, the patients received concurrent HAART treatment and transplantation of both transduced and untranduced cells. Approaches that would allow selection of transduced cells before transplantation are under investigation and may give rise to a higher percentage of transduced cells for engraftment to achieve a sufficient therapeutic level for HIV-resistant cells

  • COMMENT - 14

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 20th Nov 2015 - 12:06 PM
    Thanks Dr Sethumadavan for your comments. Emerging research has made an exciting step toward the prevention and cure of HIV/AIDS. At least 36 million people have died from HIV/AIDS since its first report in 1981. One in six HIV-positive individuals is unaware of his or her status. The virus infects and disables immune cells — the T helper cells which orchestrate immune responses — and makes the individual highly susceptible to a range of other infections. A regimen of antiretroviral drugs is used to fight the infection, but this therapy is extremely expensive, sometimes ineffective, and can cause severe side effects.
    Recent research at the University of Pennsylvania tested a therapy based on a rare genetic mutation which disables the CCR5 receptor which HIV uses to infect T helper cells. A lucky one percent of people are immune to HIV/AIDS because they have two copies this mutated gene, the CCR5-knockout allele. This means that these people have none of the receptors that HIV uses to enter the cell. It was one of these genetically lucky individuals from whom the famous “Berlin patient” received a bone marrow transplant that cured him of the virus. In order to confer HIV immunity without expensive and invasive bone-marrow transplant surgery, researchers have begun modeling the CCR5 mutation in the laboratory.
    Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. developed a method for synthetically disabling the CCR5 gene; the results of the Penn critical trial, which were published on March 6th, document its success. Researchers used zinc finger nucleases — DNA scissors — to genetically manipulate T cells from 12 HIV-positive individuals. Zinc finger nucleases disable specific genes such as those which make the CCR5 receptor. After injection with the modified (and CCR5-less) T cells, half of the participants stopped antiretroviral therapy. Those treated with the mutated T cells had a higher concentration of functional T cells, suggesting that limited immunity was conferred by disabling the CCR5 receptor. However, critics question whether these DNA scissors are specific enough: they worry that other DNA may be damaged by accident.
    Although most patients slowly were reinfected by the virus and their T helper cell concentrations lowered, one patient was virus-free for the entire 12 weeks the study observed. Many look forward to further research into this genetic manipulation: it may lead to a cure to HIV.

  • COMMENT - 15

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 1:45 PM
    Hello ,this paper on cure of AIDS is a fascinating journey from a death sentence to a chronic treatable illness. I invite you all to go through this paper to have an idea that cure of HIV can really look feasible now.

  • COMMENT - 16

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 1:56 PM
    Cure’ -comes from Latin word ‘cura’ meaning –care, concern , attention’. The current use of word seemingly sprang from the belief that proper and sufficient ‘care’ was tantamount to ‘cure’.
    Would that this were so !
    The familiar admonition to ‘Cure occasionally,relieve often, console always ‘-- comes from the ancient French aphorism ‘Guirer quelquefois, soulager souvent, consoler toujours’. This proverb fits superbly into the natural history of HIV/AIDS leading to its much wanted ‘cure, even it does portray that cure or eradication has a bit of a philosophical content (we keep teling our patients --HIV is now a treatable and controllable illness like Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension, thougha ‘cure’ is still elusive ) , meaningthereby that nobody has a clear concept and we are still in a trial and error phase.. Cure may have different meanings in the context of epidemiology , clinical care and programmatic evaluation and could range from ‘remission( cancer model) to ‘eradication’ (Infectious diseases model ) .Few examples may be cited here : in RNTCP -Revised National TB Control Program in India minimum two sputum negatives(of AFB) ,out of three done during ‘Continuation phase ‘ are required to declare the person be cured of TB . People also now using the term “remission”, borrowed from the cancer field(after successful .chemotherapy)

  • COMMENT - 17

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 1:58 PM
    The evolution of thought of cure is more fascinating . AIDS is a disease of staggering numbers, of tragically recursive devastation. Since the first diagnosis, 34 years ago by Dr Michel Gotleib (reported in MMWR, CDC , 5th. June 1981) , HIV has infected more than 60 million people, around 30 million of whom have died. For another 5 million, anti-retroviral therapy has made their infection a manageable though still chronic conditionIn late nineties the two events has shaped the evolution of the thought of Cure ‘ or Eradication’ of AIDS With the advent of effective combination ART (cART) in the mid-1990s, some researchers suggested that given enough time, antiretroviral drugs might eventually wipe out all HIV in the body. At the XI International AIDS Conference in Vancouver in 1996,
    Dr David Ho from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center proposed that a "hit early, hit hard" strategy using a potent combination regimen may potentially eradicate virus-infected T-cells—and with them, the virus—within two to three years.
    Dr Robert Siliciano and his team at Johns Hopkins who were conducting research that would provide a more significant finding: In the May 8, 1997, issue of Nature, they noted that HIV can hide in a "reservoir" of long-lived resting CD4 T-cells. Because it is not actively replicating, this virus is invisible to the immune system and out of reach of antiretroviral drugs. HIV's genetic blueprint, known as proviral DNA, can lie dormant for years or even decades within a host cell's chromosomes, ready to produce new virus when the cell is activated.
    Dr. Siliciano also suggested that the size of the viral reservoir will determine how long the treatment needs to be continued for a functional cure to be possible and how long it may take for a latent virus to recur once treatment has stopped if a functional cure has not occurred. A baby has a tiny (if any) reservoir of latently infected cells, then 15-18 months of combination ART may have been sufficient to reduce that reservoir to allow for a functional cure (as has been unfolded at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections –CROI-- as a case report of a “functional cure” in an infant who started a full antiretroviral therapy regimen within the first days of birth., ---illustrating —and putting to the test— the evolving thought about the possibility of curing HIV infection and sparking new interest in the possible implications of this concept for the future of HIV treatment

  • COMMENT - 18

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 1:59 PM
    The word "cure" and the hope it brings have remained in the minds of many, leading to countless questions from many of the more than 30 million people infected with HIV world-wide, as well as friends, families and care providers. For now, their questions are mostly remain unanswered. To understand what the word "cure" means for HIV, it is utmost important to review how people become infected and why a cure has been so hard to develop. People are still being exposed to HIV when they have contact with infectious bodily fluids, which can include blood products during donations (an incredibly rare event with today's blood-screening techniques), sexual intercourse or, in the case of newborns, in utero, during birth or breast-feeding. So what have we achieved in the past 34 years, HAART –the corner stone strategy’ has evolved from simply keeping people alive, to maintaining undetectable viral load as long as possible, to dealing with non-AIDS conditions in an aging population and here lies the relevance of finding a ‘Cure of AIDS more than ever before , perhaps !

  • COMMENT - 19

  • UDOGWU FELIX (Viewer) 22nd Nov 2015 - 3:17 PM
    Good write up.

    THAT MEANS IT IS A 1 IN 39,000,000 for cures,too bad.

    According to WHO, an estimated 39 million people have died since the first cases were reported in 1981 and 1.5 million people died of AIDS-related causes in 2013.
    There has been nobody who ever went off their anti-HIV medications without their HIV coming back," Zaia tells WebMD. "But this patient is still off treatment three and a half years later. Dr. Hütter is using the word 'cure' [in his new paper] for the first time. It is remarkable."

    The Berlin patient's HIV remains totally undetectable. Moreover, his anti-HIV antibody levels continue to decline, which would not happen if there were still HIV present to stimulate antibody production. That's what led Hütter and colleagues to deem him cured.

    Doctors in Barcelona, Spain, announced earlier this month that they believe they’ve found a cure for HIV, according to the Latin Post. But don’t hold your breath, it's not going to be available overnight.

    Similar to the report published by Harvard researchers, the Spanish research team hypothesize that a blood transplant from a donor with a genetic mutation could prevent HIV from entering cells and replicating.

    The announcement is based on results of an experimental treatment given to a 37-year-old man who contracted HIV in 2009. The “Barcelona Patient” developed lymphoma in 2012. He received chemotherapy and a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord of a donor who had a genetic mutation that gave the donor a heightened resistance to HIV.

    "We suggested a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord but from someone who had the mutation because we knew from 'the Berlin patient' that as well as [ending] the cancer, we could also eradicate HIV," Rafael Duarte, the director of the Haematopoietic Transplant Programme at the Catalan Oncology Institute in Barcelona, explained to Spanish news site The Local.

    People with the CCR5 Delta 35 genetic mutation that leaves them without CCR5 cellular receptors, which act like doorways to the cell. HIV uses CCR5 receptors to enter white cells for replication. This heightened resistance to HIV occurs in about 1 percent of the population.

  • COMMENT - 20

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 10:59 AM
    Thanks Dr Felix for your comments. Yes, one functional cure out of millions but it gives some hope.W e have al least one patient who have been cured of HIV and his case can be modeled for development of vaccines as this was one of the main hurdles in the development of AIDS vaccine.
    That is why I say ' The familiar admonition to ‘Cure occasionally,relieve often, console always ‘-- comes from the ancient French aphorism ‘Guirer quelquefois, soulager souvent, consoler toujours’. This proverb fits superbly into the natural history of HIV/AIDS leading to its much wanted ‘cure,
    After all Cure’ -comes from Latin word ‘cura’ meaning –care, concern , attention’. The current use of word seemingly sprang from the belief that proper and sufficient ‘care’ was tantamount to ‘cure’. Would that this were so !

  • COMMENT - 21

  • C.D. Dayanand (Viewer) 25th Nov 2015 - 9:03 AM
    Dear author
    Kindly let me know the title of the research paper with objectives

    Prof Dr C.D.Dayanand

  • COMMENT - 22

  • Sandeep T (Viewer) 25th Nov 2015 - 10:56 AM
    conclusion is too big. it would be nice to answer the question raised in the topic.

  • COMMENT - 23

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 25th Nov 2015 - 1:27 PM
    Thanks Dr Dayanand for your question.Cure has been the holy grail for AIDS and that is why I wanted to write an article on this topic with whatever information available The objective of this article is to reach out with the latest update on cure of AIDS.

  • COMMENT - 24

  • Matin Ahmad Khan (Author) 25th Nov 2015 - 1:39 PM
    Thanks Dr Sandeep .T.for your comments.Since Cure in the context of AIDS is somewhat philosophical but the issues raided in the article has been taken note of .