Daniel Halliday
Nov 26 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What are the latest breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV/AIDS?
AIDS stands for “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” and is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. In 2017 there were 36.9 million people living with HIV globally, with the majority of those people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. But approximately 21.7 of those nearly 40 million people are undergoing treatment this year. What advances have lead to this record moment of HIV suppression treatment, and what advances does the future hold in treating this virus before it beings attacking the patients immune system?
Stats of Viewpoints
Natural immunity and gene therapy
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Bone marrow transplant
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Immunotherapy
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Preventing HIV replication
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Viewpoints
Add New Viewpoint
Natural immunity and gene therapy

A small proportion of the global population, thought to be under 1%, have a natural genetic immunity to the HIV virus due to a “delta 32” mutation on their CCR5 receptors present on their white blood cells which renders the virus unable to infect them. CRISPR is a gene editing technology that is currently being used as a cutting edge gene editing technique, with Cas9 enzyme taken from bacteria and archaea being used to replace specific DNA strands perfectly. While not strictly a therapeutic breakthrough yet, this breakthrough in gene technology is so significant we may see transplanting individual genes being possible in the near future thanks to CRISPR, for example the "delta 32" gene responsible for natural HIV immunity.

Agree
Disagree
Bone marrow transplant

In 2008 a patient in Berlin who tested positive for HIV and was already receiving treatment, was also diagnosed with leukaemia and underwent a bone marrow from a donor carrying a genetic immunity to the HIV virus in their genetic code. The patient received the therapy containing stem cells from a donor with the “CCR delta 32” gene in two transplants over two years, and subsequently stopped taking HIV medication. Ten years later and there is no detectable trace of the virus in his body and he is considered cured, and although there remains a debate over this one off event, many hope it could lead to a future treatment for HIV/AIDS.

Agree
Disagree
Immunotherapy

As the HIV virus works by attacking the immune system, leaving patients more susceptible to other infections and leading to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), researchers have been looking into making the immune system stronger to fight these effects. This research has led small French pharmaceutical company InnaVirVax to develop VAC-3S, a drug currently being tested that increases the body’s natural immune response. VAC-3S acts on the patients T lymphocytes (or T-cells), part of the bodies innate immune system, and causes the release of antibodies that attach to the HIV protein "3S", effectively marking the viruses to be destroyed by the T cells. labiotech.eu/interviews/hiv-cure-crouzet-innavirvax

Agree
Disagree
Preventing HIV replication

ABIVAX, a French biotechnology firm, released results of a clinical trial this year for a potential future treatment and/or functional cure for HIV called ABX464. The medication works by interfering with the virus’ mode of replication and targets instances of the virus that are ‘hiding’ in the patients cells. Most treatments do not address the presence of this hidden HIV reservoir, but as ABX464 interferes with HIV’ life cycle patients were reported to have a 52% decrease in viral DNA in their blood after just 28 days of a daily 150mg dose.

Agree
Disagree
Translate