April/May #195 : Cure: Dashed Hopes for Viral Remission - by Benjamin Ryan

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HIV Specific Poison May Complement Antiretrovirals

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Prevention: Teens Take Risks, Still Don’t Test

Treatment: Near-Normal Life Expectancy

Cure: Dashed Hopes for Viral Remission

Concerns: Fast-Progressing HIV Strain

SeroZero by GMHC

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Research Roundup: Women Over Age 50 and HIV

Releasing Health: Reintegration and Me

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April / May 2014

Cure: Dashed Hopes for Viral Remission

by Benjamin Ryan

Two HIV-positive men who each displayed no signs of the virus for extended periods off antiretrovirals (ARVs) following chemotherapy and stem cell transplants to treat their lymphoma have both experienced a viral rebound. After researchers from the Harvard-affliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston announced their preliminary findings, the scientific community was cautiously optimistic that the men could eventually be included in the tiny club of functionally cured individuals. The men underwent a less-intense form of chemotherapy than Timothy Brown (a.k.a. “the Berlin Patient”) received; and they did not receive bone marrow transplants from a donor who had a genetic abnormality leading to natural resistance to the virus, as Brown did. Despite the disappointing results, there is a silver lining in the fact that the investigators believe they can still learn a great deal from studying these two men and can use this knowledge to help hone more effective cure strategies in the future.

Search: ARVs, chemotherapy, viral remission

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