Cure for HIV and AIDS will still take time to be invented and in the meantime scientists and researchers are looking at ways to reduce the severity of the disease and prolong the patient’s life expectancy. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment is a mix of modern medicines to be taken regularly which suppresses the HIV and the infected person can live a long life in monitored conditions until the meds are continued.
HIV is still a burden. Positively, my PhD has shed light on feasible pathways that may actually lead to the realization of a functional HIV cure and vaccine. Its my hope that one day, someone will say…."I used to have HIV…..and I no longer do."#HIV #HIVVaccine #Science pic.twitter.com/1ja543Gtx2
— Ian Oyaro™ (@Ian4oyarow) November 13, 2019
How i got the virus is irrelevant, what matters nw what am I doing about it, I will not quit on myself jst cz I'm another hiv static. I choose to look beyond this virus and strive to see if this virus quits on me💊💊💊one day a cure will be available and free to all💪 pic.twitter.com/LjhqIFsAl5
— hiv positive and proud🇿🇦 (@niqita11) November 7, 2019
However, as soon as ART treatment is stopped, the viruses are formed again from the latent reservoir and it has been one of the biggest hurdles in the way to finding HIV/AIDS cure. A new study published in the Science Translational Medicine has been working on finding the effects of ART on the virus reservoir so that they can up with a better solution that can kill the virus permanently and hopefully cure HIV and AIDS.
Sample Study on HIV Infected Patients
The Scientists and the Researchers analyzed the genetic sequence of HIV blood samples taken from 9 women from South Africa. They were affected by the CAPRISA 002 cohort for several years and their ART treatment started after several years. After the experiment was over, the results concluded that 71 % of the viral strains in the HIV reservoir were related to the strains that have been formed during the beginning of the treatment.
It was much larger than the HIV reservoir to form over the time indicating that the ART treatment was responsible for its formation or stabilized the virus population which was unstable before the treatment had started.
Modify ART Therapy to Stop the Virus Formation
Ronald Swanstrom, the senior co-author said that “It comes off like a big surprise and if we could understand the procedure of reservoir formation better, we might be able to stop their formation from the start of the treatment.” The researchers will now study in more detail the relation between ART and HIV reservoir formation.
They are planning to mix and combine HIV ART with a drug that can inhibit the transition of CD4 T cells to the memory cell state and stop the viral reservoir from forming at the first stage. The goal is to let people stop the ART treatment without the fear of HIV coming back and if that happens cure for HIV/AIDS will also be out very soon.