A person’s immune system was able to fight off HIV and won
Although rare, the Nature study says that 0.5% of infected individuals are able to achieve long term drug free control of HIV replication. Those people are called “elite controllers”. Just recently there was a person that had no virus detected at all in a sample of 1.5 billion cells.
In their study, there were two people with HIV with bone marrow transplants that eventually had the virus drop to undetectable levels and never returned, but now there’s been another person that had the same result without any outside help. Supposedly, this is the first known instance of someone curing it with their own immune system. But of course the question remains, will it come back, and if so, what would trigger the viral DNA to reactivate again?
Researchers want to know how elite controllers quash the virus for long periods of time. It has been difficult to figure it out, Dandekar says, because no one has recorded the first fight scenes between HIV and the elite controllers’ immune systems.
[…] About a quarter of elite controllers have genetic variants in key immune system genes that may help them get a handle on the virus, says Joseph Wong, a virologist at the University of California, San Francisco. But that explains what’s going on in only a minority of elite controllers, and isn’t something easily transferred to others, he says…
Also keep in mind is that undetectable is just that. It doesn’t mean it isn’t present. We know that in most cases viruses are hiding – specifically in your nervous tissue. More specifically, your brain. Here’s a published article on it – Where does HIV hide? A focus on the central nervous system.
All in all, immunity to viruses such as this is not really a new thing. We’ve known since at least the early 2000s that”one per cent of Caucasians are estimated to have the two copies that confer near-immunity to HIV.“. While their viral loads can be high, they don’t seem to develop AIDS.
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