Argentinian woman living with HIV ‘clears’ virus without treatment

Esperanza’s patient, named after her hometown in Argentina, was diagnosed with HIV-1 in 2013, but after eight years of follow-up checks and a total of ten commercial viral load tests, no signs of infection active virus was found in his results, as well as no evidence of disease associated with HIV-1.

Esperenza’s patient is the second known individual to have shown no detectable signs of HIV infection without a stem cell transplant procedure.

HIV-infected patients around the world

While the woman’s case is reminiscent of some famous patients who made headlines for beating the infection, Timothy Ray Brown, known as the Berlin patient, was diagnosed in 1995.

The Berlin patient had been unexpectedly cured of a virus, where it could no longer be detected, even in the absence of antiretroviral drugs (ART).

A year later, the experience of a patient from London identical to that of Brown, according to which stem cell transplants could be an effective, albeit rare, method of viral sterilization.

Scientists have learned how bodies find natural ways to fight the virus, including rare elite controllers who are able to tame the virus without the use of drugs or transplants.

Patient Esperanza stands out among them, elite checkers can reveal indications of infection if you look through.

In an interview, lead authors Krya Seigner and Gabriela Turk stated that “In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, plasma viremia of HIV-1 is persistently undetectable by commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in a small subgroup of HIV-1 patients known as elite controllers or natural suppressors.

“However, genetic material and recompiling pathogens were extracted directly from these individuals by in vitro analysis, indicating that the influence of substance retroviruses in these individuals is the result of transcription-dependent suppression and replication. host and will not represent the abolition of all retrovirus cells. “

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The “Patient Esperanza”

Esperanza’s patient stopped ART after giving birth to a healthy, HIV-1 negative baby, and tests showed no evidence of an active virus.

“The absence of detectable intact HIV-1 proviruses and replication competent HIV-1 viral particles, a significant number of cells sets it apart from all known elite controllers and post-processing controllers,” noted the authors.

Loreen Willenberg of California admitted to having a similar case, with decades of drug-free remission and no indication of intact virus in his investigation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

Despite the amazing leads these case studies show in HIV research, scientists very carefully separate what they claim.

“It is still impossible to empirically prove that someone has obtained sterilization treatment in the context of research on HIV-1”, explain the experts.

Despite the fact that it cannot label the obvious evidence for natural processes, “our inability to find any sign of intact viral infection despite exhaustive research is a great victory, as it will be useful for the study of HIV.”

Natalia Laufer, senior author and researcher on HIV at the University of Buenos Aires, told media: “Our results suggest that sterilizing treatment for HIV-1 infection, such as the absence of detectable complete proviruses of HIV-1, is unexpected but likely even clinically. “

“The results show that the patient was previously HIV positive, but the virus was still undetectable and was growing over time, which is very unusual.”

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