Mitchell Warren, executive director of the Aids Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (Avac) in Barcelona, says a new vaccine has succeeded in suppressing the virus in five patients without the need for daily drugs.
According to The Independent, Warren said the success was recorded when two innovative HIV vaccines were combined.
The participants reportedly received a booster dose of one of the vaccines and a cancer drug called romidepsin, which has been shown to ‘flush out’ the HIV virus from tissues.
It is said that the virus quickly returned and began to spread again in 10 of these patients, who resumed taking antiretroviral medication, but five of them have been free of the virus with no need to take daily drugs.
He said after receiving the treatment, the virus was undetectable in five out of 24 participants and its spread was stopped by their immune systems.
The executive director said that one of them has been drug-free for seven months.
“Long-term systems that don’t require daily pill taking could really help accelerate getting 37 million people with HIV undetectable and not infectious – that would be a great opportunity to turn the tide on the epidemic,” Warren said.
“The idea of a therapeutic vaccine that could provide ongoing control of the virus without having to take a pill every day would be a huge advance.”
Beatriz Mothe, the lead scientist, said her team was “on the right path” to developing a treatment which could offer an alternative to daily antiretroviral medication.
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