May 9, 2013
Misleading News Reports Suggest HIV Cure Is Near
by Benjamin Ryan
Numerous news outlets have inaccurately reported that Danish researchers are, according to one publication, “within months” of finding a cure for HIV. These reports concern ongoing, and as-yet-unpublished, research of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors conducted by a Danish research team. Scientists around the world are studying HDAC inhibitors as a means to flush HIV from the viral reservoir, where it hides from antiretrovirals even during successful therapy.
HDAC inhibitors are drugs historically used for psychiatric or neurologic purposes, including as mood stabilizers and anti-seizure drugs. More recently, they’ve been researched as cancer-fighting agents and now as part of HIV cure research.
In their attempt at a cure, the Danish researchers and other non-Danish collaborators are in the middle of a Phase I human trial involving 15 participants.
One of the research team’s leaders, Ole Søgaard, MD, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said in an email to POZ, “No, I would not say that we are on the brink of an HIV cure, and I can say for sure that I never said that we were. It would have been great if the story had been angled in a less sensational way.”
The blame for sparking the inaccurate perception, which is making its way through other global media and the social media sphere, is a misleading, or perhaps inflammatory, headline in the United Kingdom’s The Telegraph from April 17 that reads, “Scientists on brink of HIV cure.”
The article goes on to qualify this statement through a quote from Søgaard, who said that he felt confident about HDAC inhibitors’ abilities to activate HIV from the reservoir, but stated that questions remain about the body’s ability to kill flushed virus.
Søgaard, who says the Telegraph story had additional errors beyond the misleading headline, qualifies his team’s work as “a very interesting trial, which I hope will help inform HIV researchers how to get closer to a cure for HIV. The trial is still ongoing. However, we will present the first data from the trial at the [International AIDS Society] pre-symposium meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in late June.”
The Telegraph has since revised the article and the Aarhus University Hospital has issued a correction, in which they wrote, “The authors [of the Telegraph story] state that they regret if anyone got the impression from reading the article that there may be a cure for HIV in the immediate future. Like many others, the researchers believe that a cure for HIV is an achievable goal, but most likely it will take many years, numerous basic science discoveries, and several [Phase I and II] trials before a HIV cure may actually be reached.”
To read a Treatment Action Group report on recent strategies for flushing HIV reservoirs, including information on the Danish study, click here.
To read the revised Telegraph story, click here.
To read the Aarhus University Hospital correction, click here.
To read an Aarhus University Hospital story on their cure research, click here.
Search: HIV, cure, HDAC inhibitors, histone deacetylase, The Telegraph, Danish, Ole Søgaard, Aarhus University Hospital, reservoir, Treatment Action Group.
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comments 1 - 15 (of 21 total) next
sipho, bloemfontein, 2013-12-04 05:55:48
Whats really going on out there?
Paulus Rahardja, Jakarta,Indonesia, 2013-11-15 09:44:33
I wish and pray hardly the cure for hiv will come true and can achieve for common people with low income too.
Adolf, Sudamerica, 2013-08-30 13:47:06
Death penalty for genocide who invented the HIV of AIDS.
Lawrence, Mwanza, 2013-07-22 05:07:55
How long do you (scientists) think it may take before the cure for HIV is discovered if you try to be a bit specific..rather than just saying many years which doesn't sound promising.
James Clark, Lowell, MA, 2013-06-18 09:37:45
A proof should be constructed to show whether curing HIV/AIDS is an NP-Complete problem or not using a Turing-Machine model of computation on an abstracted organism. I believe that curing AIDS, entirely, is an infeasible problem. However, approximation algorithms can be applied to come up with acceptable cures for some patients. Same goes for cancer and other pathogens.
DAy, Rex GA, 2013-06-13 15:21:48
I just pray everyday for the cure, they should not post anything until they are 100% sure that the cure is out there.
pbcguy, , 2013-05-27 10:56:01
I, too, believe there is a cure out there and agree with another poster that as long as Big Pharma is making money hand over fist, we won't see it. Currently, I'm traveling out of the U.S. and it became necessary to change my meds. I was able to track down what I needed at a cost of $116 for a 30-day supply. In the U.S., that same medication would be over $2,000. What's wrong with this picture when we the U.S. taxpayers have funded most of the research?
Richard McC., Redwood City, CA, 2013-05-22 11:24:02
According to my doctor they have cures for allot of diseases locked away. His words "we will NEVER see a cure for anything, not while Big Pharma is making money hand over fist, you are just a dollar sign to them". My own doctor. WOW... but doesn't surprise me in the least.
Chris, M.D., Atlanta, 2013-05-18 15:35:10
I have been sickened in the past few days, beginning with this article. There is so much scenecism and negativity surrounding a cure. Let me tell you something, it is around the corner. Those of us in the medical field know it. Don't be fooled by drug companies and sites that make their money from advertising hiv meds, which try damned hard to convince you that we are 10 or 20 years from a cure. That is not reality. We are 2-4 years away, at most. Demand a cure, not more treatments!
Tom, , 2013-05-18 12:28:13
"As long as HIV treatment is INSANELY profitable, there will never be a cure."
Ditto. We have a lot of brilliant people who have dedicated their lives to finding a cure. Their effort will be wasted as long as HIV is a business.
Layla, Texas, 2013-05-15 12:43:59
I can also never see a cure with cocktails ranging from two grand to ten grand. The prices are out ragous and should be illegal. The shouldnt be profit when it comes to epidemics.
wisewoof, Dayton, 2013-05-15 10:17:28
As long as HIV treatment is INSANELY profitable, there will never be a cure.
Chris, M.D., Atlanta, 2013-05-15 07:32:20
Its like this.
the research is quite important for two reasons-First, it has been theorized that once the actual viral cell is exposed to the myriad of treatments available, i.e. antivirals, that it could be killed the same way as a bacterial infection. Also, much emphasis has been put on increasing or strengthening the immune response to kill it. What you at POZ don't know is that human trials are underway in Japan to do that, although you won't be able to google it. Keep your hopes up!
Anderson, Rio de janeiro, 2013-05-13 18:13:42
it´s terrible! i don´t think it´s a good news
Ingrid, Downey, 2013-05-10 23:48:35
comments 1 - 15 (of 21 total) next
I been H.I.V positive for 23 tears,I had read many articles about new treatments for this virus,which is nice to know there is another meds out there,about a cure it could be one day but not know,at longest they are still fighting to find a cure,it will be nice as I said the day would come,however I might not see it,but it will be here for the new generation be free from this illness...let's hope we can see the successes of the cure for this terrible virus..
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