- (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Two men with HIV received bone marrow transplants and now have no detectable signs of the virus.
One patient has not taken antiretroviral medication for seven weeks, while the other one ceased taking medication nearly three months ago with neither of the two men showing virus, according to the New York Times.
However, they are both still not "cured" of the virus could be dormant somewhere in the body that has yet to be tested, but the results are encouraging.
The bone marrow transplants were performed because both patients had blood cancer and researchers stated that this treatment has only been to work for people with similar forms of cancer and may not apply to others with HIV.
Other researchers are also working on different types of treatments that have produced promising results.
Dr. Ole Sogaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, is hopeful a cure will be discovered in the coming decades while being optimistic that "finding a mass-distributable and affordable cure to HIV is possible."
"I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV," Sogaard told AFP. "The challenge will be getting the patients' immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems."
Clinical trials are currently being conducted in which researchers are attempting to remove the HIV virus from human DNA, allowing the virus to be overcome by the immune system. This works by releasing the HIV virus from the "reservoirs" it forms inside human DNA. Once the bond is broken, the virus is exposed in the cells and the body's immune system, after being given an immune booster, can eliminate the virus from the cells.
The trials have already proved so successful in laboratory in vitro studies, where human cells are used that money has been slated by the Danish Research Council to begin clinical trials with humans.