A group of Harvard scientists at a large international meeting of HIV experts announced that a second human being had been found in Argentina to have defeated HIV on its own. She became a 30-year-old resident of Esperance, who has been battling the disease for more than eight years. The name of the Argentine is not specified - we only know that she was diagnosed in 2013, and her boyfriend died of AIDS.
The first patient who was able to overcome HIV was 67-year-old Lorin Willenberg from San Francisco, according to The Times.
Scientists believe that these cases will help bring the creation of drugs for 38 million people living with the virus that causes AIDS.
"Finding one patient with this natural ability to functionally treat the virus is good, but finding two ... means a lot more. This means that there should be more such people. This is a significant step forward in the world of HIV research, ”said the patient's doctor and HIV researcher from Buenos Aires.
Two women, Esperance and Willenberg, found themselves in a rare group of people called elite controllers who had never taken antiretroviral therapy to fight the virus and had no signs of the virus in their blood.
In 1995, researchers found out why HIV manages to return, even when it seems defeated. The virus "buries" part of itself in the body's hidden reservoirs, remaining inactive, leaving something like a "backup".
Doctors still do not know how to get to these hidden parts of the virus. The most promising approach may be the "shock and kill" method - to remove the virus from the shelter and destroy it. But researchers do not yet know how to wake him up without harming the patient. But for one in 200 elite controllers, much of the virus settles in inactive pieces of DNA known as "gene deserts" without causing any harm. The virus that remains there is removed by the body's immune system.