Thursday, February 12, 2009
GENE THERAPY OFFERS HOPE FOR CURING HIV
There isn't a week that goes by that I don't poke "HIV cure" into the Google search box hoping that I'll stumble upon something real and concrete. Today, I got my wish. I've been following the story about the 42-year-old American living in Berlin who has sustained an undetectable viral load since receiving a bone marrow transplant for leukaemia. Long story short, the fine doctor (pictured above) treating his cancer had the intuitive insight to use a bone marrow donor with a genetic resistance to HIV. Today, the man has had no viral rebound for––drum roll please––two years! Full details were published for the first time today in The New England Journal of Medicine. Although it is not a cure that could be readily used on the general population of positives, it certainly opens the flood gates for further study of new innovative ways to use gene therapy to treat, and yes, I'll say it, CURE HIV. I believe we are closer than we think to achieving what was once a far away dream.