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Curing HIV

Medical fraternities the world over are constantly looking for a cure for HIV. Some doctors have in fact dedicated entire careers to HIV/Aids research.
There have been instances where people were thought to have been cured and lived as if they had for a few months, but the virus returned. What in fact had happened was that the various forms of treatment these people were receiving had in fact pushed their viral load so low that it was not detctable.
But when the treatment was stopped the virus made a return.

Timothy Ray Brown is one of these people. He received a bone marrow transplant, to help treat his leukemia, from an individual who was genetically immune to HIV, with the result that the viral count dropped so dramatically that it was undetectable. Mr Brown lived what he thought was an HIV free life for a number of months but sadly HIV became detectable again and he had to resume his treatment.

In spite of the turnaround, doctors see this as invaluable research and will continue to look for a cure using what they have learnt.

Functional Cure

In the news recently have been reports of a baby being born HIV Positive by on her second day of life she was given a regimen of ARV's which her mother then continued to administer for 18months at which point she stopped.

The baby underwent testing but the virus was undetectable. It has been over five months since the baby stopped receiving ARV's and the virus remains undetectable.

Important to note in this instance is that the treatment was started immediately after infection. In adults this is not always possible because of the delay between infection and the actual diagnosis.

It is suspected that there are a number of HIV+ individuals who find themselves in a similar situation. But, stopping the medication could create complications in treatment should the patient need to re-start ARV therapy.


Treatment for HIV

There has been marked progress in the way HIV is dealt with medically. When HIV made it's presence known to the world in the 1980's patients were treated symptomatically and their lifespans were not very long.

Anti-retroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV/Aids became available in 1987 but the treatment was complex, expensive and not freely available. Patients had to take upto 20 tablets at a time and the side effects were often described as being worse than the disease itself.

With time ARV's become more readily available and continued research allowed for the number of tablets to decrease and the efficacy of the treatment to increase. Currently ARV treatment consists of 1 to 3 tablets a day with only minor or no side effects.

Continued work is being done by the medical fraternity to find a cure or develop a vaccine. A vaccine it is felt by some will be the best way to eradicate HIV/Aids as it is a preventative measure on a large scale rather than an elusive cure.


Test yourself for HIV

By testing yourself for HIV you are taking the first step in combatting this disease. Counselling is available for pre- and post testing. The National Aids Helpline is available to guide you through the process and to advise on what your next steps should be, based on the test result.

HIV Test kits are now available to you as an individual. You can order your HIV Test Kit online or by calling the number at the top of the screen