Cure for HIV/AIDS has been largely focused on eliminating the virus-infected cellsbut there could be other ways to end the epidemic. As per the latest research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Pennsylvania, there is another approach to find the functional cure for HIV and AIDS. The US-based study is focusing on a group HIV-positive individual who has been living with the virus without any kind of treatment including antiretroviral therapy.
Guys let's not forget that HIV is real and it's not written on anyone's forehead.#protect_yourself.
— Olivia Jesaya 🌹 (@Ms_Jesaya) December 19, 2019
A HIV infection does not make you a different person, I have lived with HIV almost 11 months and it doesn't define me. Looking forward for many of years and i'll keep on fighting. 🥰❤️#iamgreaterthanHIV #PLHIVdiaries pic.twitter.com/oAtRotzHEB
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The researchers have found that those infected people contains special lymphocytes which can suppress the virus without killing the infected cells. The aim is to study the method in detail and find some kind of HIV or AIDS cure which can limit the virus growth in a controlled manner and hence control and stop the whole disease.
Elite Controllers can Suppress HIV Replication
AIDS is a global disease that has no cure or vaccine and once HIV infection starts, a person starts losing the CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells which could have attacked and destroy infections. But there is a special group of HIV infected people who are less than 1 percent of the HIV-positive people having stable CD4+ T and a high amount of CD8+ T cells in their bloodstreams.
Those groups of people are known as elite controllers and they can keep the HIV virus at bay by not letting it replicate and thus stopping it to convert into AIDS. The researchers have collected blood samples and lymph node tissues of 51 HIV+ individuals out of which 11 are elite controllers. They are trying to understand how they are able to suppress the virus and make it possible for every infected patient to do the same and get cured of HIV and AIDS.
HIV Cure by Virus Suppression Instead of Virus Eradication
Marcus Buggert, assistant professor at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge, at Karolinska Institutet says that the research can shift the whole paradigm in the field of HIV cure. The focus has always been limited to eliminate the virus, but one has ever thought about suppressing them and keeping it in control. It is not sure when a permanent cure for HIV and AIDS will be out and until then viral suppression will work way better than viral eradication as a functional cure.