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HIV Cure Progress: Year-End 2013 HIV/AIDS Development on Treatments

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HIV research and development achieved several discoveries in 2013 – from drug therapy to unconventional and risky methods to eliminate the virus. Some of them found new things about HIV and plans to put them into trial. Here are some of notable anti-HIV results for this year to know what we can expect for 2014.

Saving Infected CellsTwo new discoveries are revealed by researchers at Dresden Technical University in Germany and Gladstone Institutes in California to save infected cells from HIV viral load. German scientists found out that there is a way to restore infected cells back to normal by cutting HIV viral load using an enzyme on the DNA of host cells. Scientists in California figured out that HIV host cells are killed by the immune system by Pyroptosis and stopping the process will prevent the body to eliminate infected cells in order to stop further spread of viral loads.

Vaccine Research

Scientists from Spain and United Kingdom are expected to begin clinical trials against HIV in the coming years. Spanish Hospital researchers announced an upcoming plan in 2014 regarding a new drug to treat the disease instead of preventing it. Experts and clinicians from five leading universities in United Kingdom aim a functional cure for HIV by starting clinical trials. It will be a combined therapy of antiretroviral drugs and two additional components to wipe viral loads completely.

Genetic and Transplant

Bone marrow transplant has been used as an unconventional method to cure or treat HIV/AIDS. Timothy Brown is the only survivor with no reoccurrence of HIV viral load after a successful transplant to treat his blood cancer. The genetic mutation called CCR5 delta 32 from his donor provided resistance against the virus which prevented HIV from killing off T cells in Brown’s blood.

Scientists are looking into a solution to engineer drugs or methods to replicate such genetic mutation to allow HIV/AIDS patients to resist the viral effects. CCR5 delta32 genetic flaw will prevent HIV to attach on T cells and allows the immune system to cleanse out the entire body.

HIV just got a new strain that can put someone into AIDS stage in just five years. Since there is no cure or vaccine against the usual strains, it is going to be more dangerous if HIV mutates again and developed another dangerous strain. Hopefully, all clinical trials receive positive results and reach commercial markets next year.

By Ryan Inoyori

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