There have been several success stories in the news recently about multiple cases of people becoming “functionally cured” of HIV. Scientists in Denmark were happy to throw their hats in the ring along with the other medical experts around the world who are inching closer to a cure for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The new techniques that researchers at Aarhus University Hospital are proposing have been deemed so successful that the Danish Research Council awarded 12 million Danish Krone (more than $2.1 million USD) to go forward with testing on human participants. According to The Telegraph, the testing has already begun and the early results are looking positive.
“I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV,” Ole Søgaard, senior researcher with Aarhus University Hospital, said to The Telegraph. “The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”
If any of the 15 patients who are currently undergoing treatment using these methods have positive responses, the potential cure is planned to be tested on a wider scale with the addition of an immune booster.
Although preventive vaccines have been used in the past, Søgaard says that this method is different. The new treatment, which releases HIV “reservoirs” within the body, allows a person’s natural immunity to kill HIV. He also warned that despite these promising scientific advancements, safer sex should still remain a priority.
These medical breakthroughs are revolutionary and exciting for many people who struggle with HIV. However, taking action with your own health through STD testing remains an important step in preventing yourself and others from becoming infected with HIV.