Cure for HIV?

Cure for HIV?

News: Recently, a man from Germany, known as Dusseldorf patient, has become at least the third person to have been “cured of HIV” with the virus not being detectable in his body even four years after stopping the medicine.

How did it happen?
 It was achieved through a bone-marrow transplant from people carrying a specific HIV-resistant genetic mutation.

What is HIV?
 HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which is a virus that attacks the immune system in the human body. It primarily targets and damages CD4 immune cells, which are essential for the body's ability to fight infections and diseases.
 Over time, HIV weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to opportunistic infections and cancers.
 HIV is primarily spread through the exchange of certain bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
 If left untreated, the virus destroys a person’s immune system and they are said to be in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome stage (AIDS) where they get several opportunistic infections that may result in death.

Is there any cure for HIV?
 Although there are no cures for the infection at present, the disease can be managed using antiretroviral therapy. These medicines suppress the replication of the virus within the body, allowing the number of CD4 immune cells to bounce back.

What are other reported recoveries from HIV?
 A Berlin patient became the first person to overcome HIV after receiving two stem cell transplants for his blood cancer. The doctors selected a donor with a genetic mutation called CCR5-delta 32 that makes carriers almost immune to HIV.
 In 2019, similar results were replicated in the London patient. Two more cases of successful treatment were reported in 2022.

What is CCR5-delta mutation?
 Cysteine-cysteine chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is the main HIV co-receptor involved in the virus and cell-to-cell spread.
 The CCR5 receptors on CD4 cells are used as a doorway by HIV. The CCR5-delta 32 mutation prevents these receptors from forming on CD4 cells, which effectively removes the doorway.
 Only 1% of people worldwide have two copies of the mutation, and 20% carry one copy, mostly those of European descent. Those with the mutation are almost immune to HIV, although some cases have been reported.

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