There is a new excitement among scientists about a drug that could flush out HIV from the blood system, thereby providing hope of a cure for millions of carriers of the virus across the world.
At the ongoing 20th international conference on AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, experts reported that early results of the research tried on six people living with HIV are very ?exciting? and are ?a promising start?.
Those living with HIV are currently placed on anti-retroviral drugs which can drive the virus to insignificant or undetectable levels in the bloodstream. But while this has led to normal life expectancy in carriers and has even seen HIV-positive persons have children that are free of the virus, the anti-retroviral drugs are not a cure because the virus can still hide in someone?s DNA and be dormant for decades.
It can incorporate its DNA into someone?s and lie beyond the reach of drugs and the immune system. This is known as ?HIV reservoir?, making the virus to be regarded as incurable because when the carrier stops using drugs, the virus will come out of the reservoir and continue to attack the body. However, the recent research shows that low-dose chemotherapy can awaken the virus and flush it out of the system ─ meaning HIV may now be curable as it will no longer have a hiding place in the body.
The result of this research is considered a promising start, although experts are cautious to announce an outright cure because of certain obstacles. Scientists have been concentrating efforts on developing a drug that would flush the virus out of the system completely and make HIV curable.