[ExI] HIV News

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 21:02:00 UTC 2020

TITLE:  In a first, a person’s immune system fought HIV — and won


“Analysis of more than 1.5 billion cells taken from a patient known as EC2 showed no functional HIV copies in any of them, researchers report August 26 in Nature. The person still had some nonfunctional copies of the virus. While no one can say for sure that intact virus isn’t hiding in a cell somewhere in this person’s body, the finding suggests that some people’s immune systems can get the upper hand, essentially eliminating the pernicious and persistent virus.

A second person, EC1, had just one functional copy of HIV in more than 1 billion blood cells analyzed. And that copy of HIV was stuck in what is essentially a genetic supermax prison. That genetic lockup may be key to being able to naturally control the virus.

Those two people are part of a rare group of people known as elite controllers, meaning they are able to maintain very low or undetectable levels of HIV without antiretroviral drugs. These people have no symptoms or clear signs of damage from the virus. “It’s not even that we’re talking about a few months or a few years. It’s extremely long-term,” says Satya Dandekar, an HIV researcher at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine who was not involved in the study. In contrast, for 99.5 percent or more of the world’s 35 million people infected with the virus, drugs are the only way to keep the virus down.”
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