A Hope for HIV Patients
When a monkey was contracted HIV, researchers in USA had stopped all the medical treatments and cured it with a newly formulated drug combination. Finally thid drug combination turned out to be fruitful as it was successfully in returning the monkey to its normal life again.
HIV requires a lifelong treatment and scientists are now concentrating on formulating drugs that can eradicate this contagious and fatal disease for good. Previously, the HIV virus used to form hidden reservoirs during the treatment stopping which, it would relapse again.
How testing done!
Until now HIV treatments included drugs like antiretroviral therapy or ART and an experimental antibody, all of which were approved in more than 50 countries for treatments of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
The new drug, Takeda drug, generically is known as vedolizumab, is being already tested at the National Institutes of Health. They injected of simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV to around eighteen monkeys. They then treated all of the animals with ART for a quarter period. and, as it does in humans, the ART controlled the virus, reducing it to undetectable levels.
“The experimental treatment regimen appears to have given the immune systems of the monkeys the necessary boost to put the virus into sustained remission,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, part of the NIH, who co-led the study.
When they started treatment on the SIV infected monkeys with the new found drug, six of them showed that HIV was rebounding but gradually the immune systems showed a significant control over the virus. Two of them couldn’t take the treatment so the treatment was not further executed on them. But, even after the treatment stopped, all the eight monkeys have successfully suppressed the SIV to undetectable levels for 23 months.
The study did not look at whether the monkeys were still able to transmit the virus, but studies in people have shown that reducing HIV to undetectable levels cuts transmission rates by nearly 100%.