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 Lady,

    It really isn’t possible to say if, or when there will be a cure for HIV. For now we have meds that are excellent at controlling a persons HIV.

  2. Lady

    Hy.as many people are suffering from the hiv can they find cure by 2020?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Li,
    As it says on the question above, it might take at least ten years to find a cure.

    It’s not true that there is an HIV cure for rich people. And scientists are looking at many ways to bring about a cure. This includes immune based and gene therapies. So doctors, scientists and people who are HIV positive are all working very hard to find a cure.

    However, many people find much comfort and support in religious belief. This can help your sense of well-being.

    But at the moment, people who are newly diagnosed are recommended to start ART sooner rather than later. Please see the HIV cure puzzle. This shows how research into finding an HIV cure has dramatically increased. As it says here, it is always good to be optimistic – and hope is a powerful thing.

  4. Li

    Hi….when will hiv cure be made available? I heard there is a cure, which only available for rich people, is this true? I heard scientists do not want to make the cure available so they can make money our of it from people living with hiv, is this true?

    With thousands getting infected daily with hiv, the only solution is to turn to Jesus Christ, the great healer for the healing from this virus.

    However, I am pleading and begging doctors and scientists to make the cure available. And save millions life. I pray God will continue to increase His skills, gifts and talents in you all in Jesus name. Your family shall be happy, have peace of mind and help you too in the time your need in Jesus name.

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hello Nandu,

    I’m sorry to hear that your Dad has been seriously unwell. Is he on HIV treatment? Even when someone has HIV and TB, treatment for both of these can help them to recover. I hope you and the family are getting support from the doctors too.

    Researchers are working hard to find a cure for HIV. But the HIV cure puzzle makes it quite difficult.

    I hope that your Dad’s treatment helps him recover, and keeps him well for many years.

  6. Nandu

    Hello,
    My dad is suffering from HIV from last 11 year , last 6 months before he was to serious and when doctor test the report T.B was also found still he is not feeling well .My family is full depend on my father and I am studying yet.Me and my family family having hope last 10 year for the medicine will come which can cure. It’s a humble request for my family and from all the H.I.V in the world to help all H.I.V patient to get cure as fast as possible plz.

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Prince,

    The quick answer to how long patients live is that with modern HIV drugs (called ART) your life expectancy is likely to be similar to if you were HIV negative.

    Sleeping with a positive person both without treatment won’t stop HIV from wearing out your immune system. But you can find out more about starting ART in this Introduction to ART.

  8. prince

    Hello there,Pls what will happen if am positive and I sleep with positive person both without treatment. pls for how long can HIV patients live with treatment…….

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Prince,

    All ARVs do the same thing, control a person’s HIV. And help people to live with HIV.

  10. prince

    hello there, pls which HIV drug is good for living long life

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *