In 2013, doctors made a life-changing diagnosis for a woman living in Esperanza, Argentina. She was infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Eight years later, the virus almost disappeared from her system.
In fact, stunned researchers couldn’t find any evidence. HIV Viral particles in her body “suggest that this patient may have naturally achieved bactericidal treatment, despite the analysis of large amounts of cells from blood and tissues,” they wrote in the journal. I wrote it on November 16th. Annual report of internal medicine.. However, they warned that science cannot clearly prove that there are no traces of the human immunodeficiency virus.
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This represents the second known case of a person Immune system Eliminates HIV without bone marrow transplants or drug intervention, according to STAT.. The first such case was a Californian woman named Lauren Willenberg in 2020. virus I was absent from her body for the first time in 27 years, New York Times report. Only two people, known as London and Berlin, have been cured of HIV, but only after stem cell therapy has completely replaced the immune cells. 2020 Lancet..
An Argentine woman was called an “Esperanza patient” by doctors to protect her anonymity in a country where people are still stigmatized with HIV positivity. Medical professionals say she belongs to a rare group of HIV patients called “elite controllers.” The virus is present in these people’s systems, but it is possible to maintain a sufficiently low viral load so that symptoms do not develop without treatment.
According to a survey released in 2019, elite controllers make up only 1% of the world’s HIV-positive population. Journal of Virus Eradication.. Scientists don’t know exactly how the immune system eliminates the virus — at least not yet.
“I would like to know more about this seemingly new, seemingly anomalous phenomenon of elite control,” said Rowena Johnston, head of research at amfAR at the AIDS Research Foundation. NBC News..
For now, Willenberg and Esperanza patients are a special case, even among elite controllers. However, doctors say their very existence gives hope to the continued quest for HIV / AIDS treatments.
“We hope this will actually enable a natural cure for HIV,” said Xu You, a viral immunoscientist at the Ragon Institute in Boston and one of the lead researchers in the study. Medscape.. “That’s the beauty of the name, isn’t it?” “Esperanza” means “hope” in Spanish, in addition to being the name of the patient’s hometown.
Meanwhile, the patient is reportedly expecting a second child and enjoying an HIV-free life. But she wants to make sure that other people living with HIV also have a second chance. “I feel great responsibility and commitment to achieve this just by thinking that my condition may help achieve treatment for this virus,” she told STAT by email.
Originally published in Live Science.
The patient’s immune system treats HIV “naturally” in the second case of its kind
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