According to a report published in The Sunday Times, British scientists are closer than ever to finding a cure for HIV after a promising clinical trial eliminated the virus completely from one man's system. The 44-year-old is the first of 50 people to undergo the trial.
The new therapy works in two stages. In the first stage, a vaccine helps the body to identify and eliminate HIV-infected cells. In the second stage, a new drug called Vorinostat activates dormant T-cells, making them recognizable to the immune system. The current therapy used for HIV+ patients is not able to spot inactive T-cells.
The man, who is choosing to remain anonymous, told The Sunday Times, "It would be great if a cure has happened. My last blood test was a couple of weeks ago and there is no detectable virus."
He went on to say, "I took part in the trial to help others as well as myself. It would be a massive achievement if, after all these years, something is found to cure people of this disease. The fact that I was a part of that would be incredible."
Currently, about 37 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. Only one patient, Timothy Brown, has ever been cured. He received a stem cell transplant from a patient with natural immunity in 2008.
Man. Science is so cool.