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The woman wishes to stay anonymous and is referred to as ‘Esperenza patient’. Doctors believe that her own immune system played the led role in curing the virus. Tests of more than 1 billion cells were conducted, all of which came negative.
Rare case of woman's body ridding itself of HIV https://t.co/vlSeAzzZem— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 16, 2021
Experts say, this process if tackled properly can propose means to effectively cure HIV. The findings further explained that a few people are born with innate resistance to HIV. However, most people rely on antiretroviral therapy. Life-long. These if not taken can make patients experience a relapse.
“This is really the miracle of the human immune system that did it”, said Dr. Xu Yu a viral immunologist at Ragon Institute in Boston. “Now we have to find the mechanisms like how does thesis happen and how can we recapitulate this therapeutically in everybody?”, said Dr. Steven Deeks, a prominent HIV cure researcher at the University Of California.
On multiple fronts, scientists are opting for the byzantine assignment of restoring HIV. This involves Gene therapy “kick and kill”; attempts to excrete the virus from the pool and also the “block and lock” means. As of today, there have been two people fully cured of HIV therapeutically.
The Esperanza patient agreed on partnering up with Yu in 2019. She gave birth to an HIV-negative baby in 2020, after which 500 million of her placenta cells were tested. Afterward, Yu and the team found no sequencing of the intact virus. “The study sets the standard for demonstrating that the Esperenza patient has no replication-competent proviral DNA within her cells”, said Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy ad Infectious Diseases.
She also added that “the more we uncover such patients and work up, the more complete our understanding of the cured patient.” Yu said, that there is no guarantee that the Esperenza patient has not even a single sign of the intact virus in her body. There is much more research still required.