BREAKING: HIV Returns In Men Thought To Be Cured of HIV/AIDS From Bone Marrow Transplant
December 9, 2013
(NEW YORK) After what seemed like a ray of hope in the progress in HIV/AIDS cure research, the Boston Globe reported that the two ''cured'' HIV patients that had endured a Bone Marrow Transplant found that the disease had resurfaced only 9 months after discontinuing thier HIV treatment program.
“We felt it would be scientifically unfair to not let people know how things are going, especially for potential patients,” Henrich said.
The two patients in the Boston study had battled HIV for years. They agreed to stop taking their HIV medications earlier this year to test whether the medicine was holding the infections in check, or whether it was the transplant of healthy donor bone marrow cells each received that was vanquishing signs of the virus in their bodies. Both had received the transplants after chemotherapy and other treatments had failed to stop their Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
For weeks, Henrich’s team carefully tested the patients’ blood, searching for signs of HIV. In July, with one patient off the HIV medications for seven weeks, and the other patient off for 15, the scientists reported their early, encouraging results: They could find no trace of the virus in their blood cells.
But in August, the scientists detected HIV in one of the patients, who then resumed taking medication. The other remained seemingly HIV-free. Concerned about the ethics of continuing the study, the scientists gave the patient the choice of going back on the drugs. The patient opted to stay off the medicine.
Last month, after eight months with no HIV detected, signs of the virus reemerged and the patient went back on medication, too.
Henrich said the reemergence of the virus demonstrates that HIV reservoirs — latent cells that carry the genetic code of HIV — are lurking deeper in the body and are more persistent than scientists had realized.
“This suggests that we need to look deeper, or we need to be looking in other tissues . . . the liver, gut, and brain,” Henrich said. “These are all potential sources, but it’s very difficult to obtain tissue from these places so we don’t do that routinely.”
As HIV continues to grow in among American gay youth, it is imperative that you stand with the Pride PAC and help us educate America and the world of the struggles that we still face in the fight for a cure to HIV/AIDS. As this may be tough news, it is opening the eyes of the medical community and places pressure on the urgency of depth in their research. It will take all of us standing together and sharing our knowledge to get. things. done.
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