Researchers discover a second person to overcome HIV without drugs or treatment

According to researchers, Argentine women have become the second person in the world to get rid of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) without drugs or treatment.

According to a report released on Tuesday Annual report of internal medicine A 31-year-old woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 2013, entitled “Possible Sterilization Treatment for HIV-1 Infection Without Stem Cell Transplantation,” received anti-retroviral therapy for only 6 months during pregnancy. Stopped the transmission of the infection to the baby. ..

Testing with her more than 1 billion cells found no viable evidence of infection. Doctors believe that the patient’s immune system may have cleared the virus spontaneously.

Researchers call the woman an “Esperanza patient” after her hometown. The word “Esperanza” means “hope” in English.

“Despite analyzing large numbers of cells from blood and tissues, genomic intact and replicative HIV-1 was not detected by the elite controller. This is a bactericidal treatment for HIV-1 infection in this patient. These observations suggest that sterilization treatment is very rare, but is likely to be a possible result of HIV-1 infection. “The researchers write.

But scientists say: “The lack of evidence of intact HIV-1 provirus in large numbers of cells is not evidence of the absence of intact HIV-1 provirus. HIV-1 bactericidal treatments cannot be empirically proven. can not.”

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It turns out that only one other person in the world has it Overcome HIV No medical intervention: A 67-year-old woman named Loreen Willenberg from San Francisco.

Willenberg was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 and is labeled as an “elite controller”, a person who maintains an undetectable viral load without taking drugs or drugs.

“There is no way to say that this patient has evidence of no virus,” said Xu Yu, co-author of the latest study. Told TIME.. “The only thing we can say is that after analyzing a large number of cells from a patient, our laboratory technology cannot deny the hypothesis that the patient probably reached sterile healing by innate immunity. That is. “

Yu said the Esperanza patients are working with researchers and continue to provide blood samples for ongoing research. She is now also pregnant with her second child, and doctors are wondering if her elite controller status means she doesn’t need anti-HIV drugs before and during childbirth. Follow the guidelines for pregnant women People who are HIV positive.

The researchers will also examine a sample of breast milk from an Esperanza patient to determine if it contains the virus, Yu said.

“Many immune factors can play a role,” the researchers said. “There is a second case, but there are probably many cases where you don’t know there is a sterile treatment. Some people are unaware that they are infected. We want to attract more patients. If there is a cohort of these very rare cases, it allows us to analyze their immune response deeper and broader, and hopefully which immune factor contributes most to this condition. It will give us a hint about what we have learned so that we can apply what we have learned to the general public. “

As of the end of 2020, an estimated 37.7 million people are living with HIV and tens of millions have died from HIV-related causes. World Health Organization..

HIV targets the immune system, destroys immune cells, and weakens the body’s defenses against multiple infections, including cancer. This is something that a person with a healthy immune system can usually fight. The virus, if untreated, can develop into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Currently, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but drugs can help significantly slow the progression of the disease.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.