“Examples of such a cure that develops naturally suggest that current efforts to find a cure for HIV infection are not elusive, and that the prospects of getting to an ‘AIDS-free generation’ may ultimately be successful,” Yu wrote.
Yu, Dr. Natalia Laufer in Argentina, and their colleagues analyzed blood samples collected from the 30-year-old HIV patient between 2017 y 2020. She had a baby in March 2020, allowing scientists to collect placental tissue, también.
The patient was first diagnosed with HIV in March 2013. An analysis of billions of cells in her blood and tissue samples showed that she had been infected with HIV before but, during the analysis, the researchers found no intact virus that was capable of replicating. All they could find were seven defective proviruses — a form of a virus that is integrated into the genetic material of a host cell as part of the replication cycle.
The researchers are not sure how the patient’s body was able to apparently rid itself of intact, replication-competent virus but, “we think it’s a combination of different immune mechanisms — cytotoxic T cells are likely involved, innate immune mechanism may also have contributed,” Yu wrote in her email.
“Expanding the numbers of individuals with possible sterilizing cure status would facilitate our discovery of the immune factors that lead to this sterilizing cure in broader population of HIV infected individuals.”
Sobre 38 million people are living with HIV infection around the world. When untreated, an infection can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. El año pasado, alrededor 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide.