When will we get a cure for HIV?
Government should join hands with scientists to look for a cure for HIV. Are scientists ignoring it? The scientists find quick cures for ebola and cancer but HIV just has management drugs. Scientists should wake up from their slumber and fight HIV. What are the scientists and researchers waiting for?
It’s a day by day story with antiretroviral drugs, with CD4 counts, and with viral load. But we need cure drugs for HIV.
In the last six years there has been a dramatic increase in research for a cure for HIV. Scientists are making great progress in working on all the areas of research. But it’s a very complex problem.
Science has a way of solving most problems. If not now, then it will happen in the future. But putting a timeline on when is tough. Many of the leading scientists are cautious on this. Many suggest at least ten years is reasonable but an unexpected breakthough could change this.
One part of the challenge for HIV is that the virus becomes part of the make up (the DNA) of immune cells, the CD4 cells. Unfortunately, some of these cells, once infected, rest or sleep for many years.
Currently HIV drugs only work in cells that are active or awake, but research is looking at ways of targeting those sleeping cells.
One study, here in the UK, is trying to flush out the sleeping infected cells so that they can be targeted by treatment to kill them off. First the scientists will try to reduce the number of sleeping cells in the body, just to see whether this kind of treatment could work.
You can find a summary here.
Other scientific research is looking into HIV vaccines. One of the researchers in this European project says, “Creating an effective vaccine against HIV is one of the greatest biological challenges of a generation.”
You can find more information here.
This research is complex and difficult, so it’s taking time. But scientists and governments are making progress.