How will an HIV cure be tested and proved?
If HIV tests look for antibodies which are likely to be present even after someone is cured, I was wondering how would you test to see if a person is cured from HIV?
Thanks. You are right that even if a cure is found, someone will test positive using an HIV antibody test.
How to define a cure is a focus for lots of researchers – so it is a very good question.
One way will be to look for virus directly – for example using viral load tests – or similar tests. But although this sounds simple, it also involves thinking about how long someone would need to habe undetectable resuts for it to be classified a cure.
This will involve someone having to stop treatment – which is not generally recommended,
Then, for example, if the cure missed one single long lived sleeping cell, that then woke up after five years, or ten years. HIV would then rebound again – and the infection would be back. This is way cure researchers are thinkin that an HIV cure will be more like remission to cancer.