Being diagnosed with HIV (or Cancer) should not be the announcement of your death sentence. Currently, with proper medical attention and positive life change, people infected with the virus can live a normal life. However, it will be a life with a strict adherence to a strict medication on a daily basis, some of which makes you feel not so good. Not to mention the financial strain, especially for patients from a poor background.
In that spirit a full cure sounds better, and that’s exactly what British scientists might have inched closer to with a new drug cocktail. The new concoction developed a while back was used on an experimental program on a 44-year-old Brit who works as a social worker in London. The said patient was HIV positive and after being taken through the experimental drug appears to be completely free of the infection.
The patient was taken through a “kick and kill” experimental treatment program. First, he was given a vaccine to boost his immune systems to detect all the HIV virus-infected cells in his body. Next, he was given Vorinostat, which activates the dormant infected cells that usually never get caught. From there, it was a matter of letting his immune system do the rest: the healthy part fight off and kill the HIV infection. In theory, the process should eliminate all virus comeback into his system.
While the patient currently tests negative of the HIV infection, the researchers categorically state they are a long, long way from jumping up and down that they discovered a cure. The social worker is currently under close monitoring. He is also one of 50 other patients to finish the experimental treatment. The researchers are keeping the ‘cured’ social worker under close surveillance and it will take months and thorough testing before they conclude their new concoction works.
As much as the results seems promising, it will take years before the drug is used outside experimental lab tests. It will have to undergo rigorous testing by various public health stakeholders before its commercial use is approved.