We may need to combine many approaches to achieve a cure, delegates hear

Published: March 9, 2015

Gus Cairns
Original Article:  bit.ly/1EvzMeJ

It is unlikely that one single approach will achieve a cure for HIV infection, delegates at a community cure workshop held the day before the CROI 2015 Conference heard last week.

Bone marrow transplants

One was to seek ways to replace the body’s immune cells with ones resistant to HIV infection. This is what appears to have happened in the case of Timothy Ray Brown, the one person still apparently cured of HIV, with no return of his virus now after seven years. However he is as yet the only one, with HIV in other cases eventually reappearing, often after a prolonged period, as in the case of the “Mississippi baby”, whose HIV rebounded after not being detectable for over two years.

Javier Martinez-Picado of the Spanish HIV research institute IrsiCaixa documented other attempts to repeat Brown’s cure. Brown, who needed a bone marrow transplant due to lymphoma, had his immune system effectively deleted and replaced by one from a donor with cells lacking the receptor CCR5; this is the receptor the majority of HIV, and nearly all HIV that is transmitted, needs to bind to in order to infect cells.

However people who lack CCR5 are uncommon; it depends on being born to parents both of whom have the right gene and is at best (in northern Europe) found in only 0.1% of the population, being absent in many other parts of the globe.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1EvzMeJ

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