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Old 03-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
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The Beginning of the End of AIDS?

Maybe some of you have heard about the baby who was mostly cured of AIDS a few weeks ago. It looks like he's not alone:

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A baby who was "functionally cured" of HIV may have some adult company.
Fourteen adults have also been "functionally cured" after they were given combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for their HIV infection. They have been able to stop taking the treatment while still keeping their infection under control, according to a new study in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
"Our results show that early and prolonged cART may allow some individuals with a rather unfavorable background to achieve long-term infection control and may have important implications in the search for a functional HIV cure," the researchers, from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, wrote in the study.
MedPageToday pointed out that while the 14 adults still technically have HIV in their bodies, it's only barely detectable when using highly sensitive laboratory methods. Therefore, they are considered "functionally cured" instead of being completely rid of the virus.
The New Scientist reported that there were 70 people in the study, all of whom had been treated incredibly early for their HIV infection (anywhere between 5 and 10 weeks of being infected), but whose drug regimens had been interrupted for some reason: Most of the 70 people relapsed when their treatment was interrupted, with the virus rebounding rapidly to pre-treatment levels. But 14 of them -- four women and 10 men -- were able to stay off of ARVs without relapsing, having taken the drugs for an average of three years.

The findings suggest that anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of people are able to be "functionally cured" of HIV, the study researcher, Dr. Asier Saez-Cirion, told BBC News.
"They still have HIV, it is not eradication of HIV, it is a kind of remission of the infection," Saez-Cirion told BBC News.
However, it still remains to be seen whether the virus will be controlled sans drugs forever. Dr. Michael Saag, of the University of Alabama Birmingham, told MedPageToday that he would not recommend people with HIV stop taking treatment, since stopping can actually spur replication of HIV.
A person with HIV must take antiretroviral drugs every day for the rest of his or her life, according to AVERT. A recent study in the journal AIDS showed that people who are able to well-control their HIV through these drugs have no higher risk of dying than people without HIV.
In the case of the baby who was declared "functionally cured" of HIV, doctors gave the baby -- who is now 2 1/2 years old -- strong HIV drugs within 30 hours of being born, the Associated Press reported. She was born to a mother who didn't realize she had HIV until she came into the hospital during labor. The HIV treatment was given to the baby before she was confirmed infected with HIV, but the doctor who treated her -- Dr. Hannah Gay, of the University of Mississippi -- told the Associated Press that she "just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot."
However, Dr. Mark Siedner, a postdoctoral fellow in the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, where he pointed out that questions still remain as to whether the child was infected with HIV upon birth, or merely exposed. He wrote:
In the case of the Mississippi baby, we know she was exposed to HIV, had HIV in her blood, and that at least some cells in her blood were found with sleeping virus -- though we will likely never know if those cells were from the child or maternal cells that had been transmitted during pregnancy or birth. Was the baby infected with HIV and, thus, cured?
To many of the researchers at the conference, the answer is "no." It seems more likely that her treatment prevented her, after exposure to HIV, from being infected.
Before the Mississippi baby, there was another man thought to be "cured" of HIV -- Timothy Ray Brown, who is known as the "Berlin patient." Brown was "cured" when he was given bone marrow stell cell transplants for leukemia that wasn't related to his HIV infection. But those stem cells he received came from a person with HIV-resistant cells -- and after he received the transplant, his virus never came back and he was able to stop taking antiretroviral medication.
14 Adults 'Functionally Cured' Of HIV, Study Says

Though they may not be fully cured nor is there a vaccine yet, this is very good news.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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maybe some of you have heard about the baby who was mostly cured of aids a few weeks ago. It looks like he's not alone:

hiv. aids isn't a tangible disease or infection. It's a result. just sayin'
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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It's a very interesting question, but it probably would not be considered ethical research to stop patients' medication regimen and then see if their viral load bounces back. You would effectively be selecting for antiretroviral resistant HIV and could potentially make the patients' management more difficult.

I think it will ultimately require more retrospective analysis, i.e. patients who have gone off treatment against medical advice after some number of years of having an undetectable viral load.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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I read something on this a few days ago.


I hope they find a cure.

I'm also praying they find a cure for cancer.

Cancer took my parents and several of my friends.
One was only 24 years old.


I just found out today that a co-worker of mine has stage-four cancer
caused by melonama. She's in her 30s.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
I read something on this a few days ago.


I hope they find a cure.

I'm also praying they find a cure for cancer.

Cancer took my parents and several of my friends.
One was only 24 years old.


I just found out today that a co-worker of mine has stage-four cancer
caused by melonama. She's in her 30s.
This thread is about HIV/AIDS. If you want to discuss cancer, start a thread about it rather than trying hijack this one.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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hiv. aids isn't a tangible disease or infection. It's a result. just sayin'
Oops, you're right. Sorry!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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This thread is about HIV/AIDS. If you want to discuss cancer, start a thread about it rather than trying hijack this one.
Not sure this post was really warranted. He wasn't trying to hijack anything.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
I read something on this a few days ago.


I hope they find a cure.

I'm also praying they find a cure for cancer.
The potential for a vaccine against HIV exists and in theory so is a cure.

There is no "cure" for cancer and there never will be - cancer is a complicated multi-functional disease. There can by definition be no single cure for cancer, but if we could achieve around 90% survival rates at the 50-year-mark, that would be huge.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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Not sure this post was really warranted. He wasn't trying to hijack anything.
Maybe, but it reminded me of another thread I started and he did something similar. It was the elderly abuse thread.

I prefer keeping things on topic, especially at the beginning. But if you guys want to discuss both cancer and HIV/AIDS, feel free to do so.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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Did you really just bitch at a post about his friends who died from cancer?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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Did you really just bitch at a post about his friends who died from cancer?
That wasn't how I saw it. I just thought this thread should be about HIV/AIDS. Honestly, I just saw the word cancer and thought he was trying to change the subject. Stupidity on my part.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #12
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"Cancer" is not just one disease. Different genes are involved with different types of cancer, so I don't think there is likely to ever be a single universal cure.

5 year survival for some cancers, like ALL, are already approaching 90%. Unfortunately for melanoma it is nowhere near that yet.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:45 PM   #13
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As a gay person, it's cancer that really scares me, not HIV/AIDS. Anyone affected by either disease has my love and sympathy, but it's cancer that worries me more.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:18 AM   #14
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Not sure this post was really warranted. He wasn't trying to hijack anything.
Ya, I thought it was a fairly innocent post too
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
The potential for a vaccine against HIV exists and in theory so is a cure.

There is no "cure" for cancer and there never will be - cancer is a complicated multi-functional disease. There can by definition be no single cure for cancer, but if we could achieve around 90% survival rates at the 50-year-mark, that would be huge.
^ this.

It's more about treatment than it is finding a cure.
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