A CURE FOR HIV?
Image source: World Health Organization.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is an infection that leads to the destruction of CD4+ T cells, causing progressive immunodeficiency, opportunistic diseases, and mortality (Lucas & Nelson, 2014). It progresses to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if left untreated. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) treats HIV and helps reduce the viral load, thereby lowering the risk of HIV transmission (HIV Treatment: The Basics | NIH, 2021).
HIV disease was declared a pandemic 37 years ago. Fortunately, at the 29th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2022), the findings from a research done by the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trial Network (IMPAACT) P1107 reported a cure for HIV. The study participant (a mixed-raced, middle-aged female) who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, stopped antiretroviral therapy (ART) at 37 months post-transplant and had no HIV detected for 14 months. It was after a dual stem cell transplant of transfused cells from a neonate’s umbilical cord, complemented with cells from the bone marrow of an adult donor was done.
The above case was the 3rd trial for a HIV cure using stem cell transplant. The first case (now deceased) was a man with acute myelogenous leukemia who experienced 12 years of remission and the second case was another man with Hodgkin lymphoma; he has been in HIV remission for 30 months (First Case of HIV Cure in a Woman After Stem Cell Transplantation Reported at CROI-2022, 2022).
Do you feel this 3rd time will be different?
What are your thoughts on this new information?