New HIV Vaccine Could Help Control Virus Without Drugs
This is promising news!
By using a new vaccine therapy, five people with HIV have successfully controlled the virus without the use of expensive daily drugs (some of which cause terrible side-effects).
The New Scientist reports:
Three years ago, Beatriz Mothe of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, and her colleagues started a trial in which 24 people recently diagnosed with HIV were given two vaccines developed by Tomas Hanke and his colleagues at the University of Oxford. They were also given ART, then monitored to see whether the vaccines induced a strong immune response.
This year, 15 of them each received a booster dose of one of the vaccines, followed by three doses of romidepsin – a cancer drug that has shown potential for flushing HIV out of hiding. Finally, each person received another vaccine booster, and then stopped taking ART.
In 10 of the participants, the virus rapidly bounced back, forcing them to return to ART. But five of the participants no longer needed to take the drugs because their immune systems could suppress the virus unaided.
One person has been off ART for seven months now. The other four have been free of detectable virus for six, 14, 19 and 21 weeks, respectively. Mothe, who revealed the results at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle last week, says they will follow each participant to see how long they can control the virus themselves.
H/T: The New Scientist