Q and A

Question

When will there be a cure for HIV?

Hello,

Thanks for your answer to my previous question.

I have managed to convince my girlfriend who tested HIV positive not to commit suicide. I told her to take medications for the next few years.

I told her that i was convinced that there would be a cure in the next few years. Are my hopes justified?

In your opinion how long do you think it would take to find a cure if any?

What websites give such information?

Answer

Learning that you have HIV can be tough. But while coming to term with this it should help to know that current treatment means that most people can lead long, normal, lives.

We can do the same things we did in life before we had HIV. This includes sport, work, getting married and having children. Some people even say that finding out they were HIV positive meant that they valued life more than they did before.

Some people make changes in their lives for the better, in ways they might not have done otherwise. Life may be slightly more complicated with HIV, but access to good treatment allows all these things.

When someone is first diagnosed they may not have information, or they may not believe it.  This is why access to accurate information is so important.

As for a cure, I’m sure it will come. In the last five years there has been a dramatic increase in this research. Scientists are making great progress in working on all the sections of this 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 genetic material (DNA) of immune cells. 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.

This article describes new approaches to cure research:
https://i-base.info/guides/art-in-pictures/the-hiv-cure-puzzle

Even if a cure is a long way off it is not something that I worry about. It will come, and treatment will keep me healthy and alive until then. Following research is a good was to keep informed – both for newer treatments and for research into vaccines and ‘a cure’.

Most HIV organisations have newsletters that report on research from medical conferences. If you email me with which country you live in I can suggest something that may be useful.

Note: The answer was updated in September 2014 from a question asked in August 2007.

178 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Thabang,

    As long as your girlfriends viral load is undetectable, (which is should be as she’s been on meds since 2017) there isn’t any risk of transmission. Please see here: http://i-base.info/u-equals-u/

  2. thabang

    Hi am thabang i hav slpt with my girlfrnd and shes positive nd she ,has been in medication from 2017 and we didnt use condom but i keep on testing nd they come negative , so what can i drink for now ,so i can not be infected , cos am warried

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Debby,

    Thanks, yes and let’s hope for good news for an HIV cure in 2019.

  4. Debby

    can we have the good news in 2019.plsss safe lives

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Lala,

    Can you talk to the clinic about your symptoms? We are not doctors at i-Base, but the reported side effects for Odimune don’t usually include stomach ulcers.

    Is it possible for you to get a second opinion on your stomach pains from the clinic?

  6. Lala

    Hi its Lala I have been on treatment (odimune) for 2years now lately when I take my pill at night I have this hotness inside like ulcers… Went to the clinic they told me to reduce spicy food and drink milk.I have I watch my diet to much but am still feeling like that an hour(20:00) after taking the meds…what can the cause be

    Thanks

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Vrudi,

    If you’re having issues with the TB this is something that you need to talk to your doctor about, they will be able to advice you.
    Weight loss can be due to many reasons, so this will need to be investigated.

    With regards to a cure, its not possible to say when, or if one will be developed. There are however many people working on one.

  8. Vrudi

    Hi I am diagnosed with HIV since then started with ART. The single pill which I am taking night after food contains all three combination. But doctor has prescribed two more pills in the afternoon as well in order to avoid TB. After 6 months of treatment my cd4 is 390 and viral load is less than 34. But what my problem is since I started the treatment I have lost weight and also afternoon tablets are very suffocating. Shall I stop afternoon tablets and take only 3 combination tablet at night and not able to eat properly whatever I eat getting vomitted. Will we have cure by 2020. Awaiting your reply.

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