Cutting Edge Research on HIV Treatment And Cures
When HIV started, it was known as a killer disease due to the rate at which people died from HIV related problems.
This is because it makes the body immune system to weaken thus making it difficult for the body to fight diseases.
Therefore diseases such as TB attack and easily overpower the body. Moreover, most people who lived with the virus faced challenges such as low self esteem, stigma, neglection and depression.
But with the scientists working hard, the ART was introduced which has since then increased the life expectancy of those living with the HIV virus.
Moreover, awareness campaigns have been created worldwide, including the world AIDS day to ensure those infected are not neglected and also to educate people an ways in which the virus is transmitted.
This has helped to reduce stigma in HIV infected people and they are still loved in the community.
But with the awareness campaigns, prevention methods such as use of condoms for protected sex and the ART, that alone does not completely eliminate the virus.
Much is needed to be done and scientists and researchers have been working on finding a cure to the virus.
There is hope on finding the vaccine after the famous berlin patient was cured after a transplant.
Timothy Ray Brown was suffering from leukemia and also had the HIV virus.
But when he went to surgery, all he wanted was a bone marrow transplant to heal him from leukemia as he continued to take the ART’s.
But to everyone’s surprise, Timothy was also cured from HIV and Aids. The bone marrow was from HIV immune person and therefore it completely cured him.
Years down the line without him using any HIV drugs and he remained free from the HIV virus.
Are there any HIV vaccines?
With Timothy’s story, researchers and scientists are working on a way in which they could introduce a vaccine that is at least more than 60% percent in preventing one from getting HIV and AIDS virus.
This could make the body’s cells recognize the virus and effectively fight them and completely kill them. In effect to this, there are two major types of HIV vaccines in development and awaits testing.
This are preventive vaccines and therapeutic vaccines.
This are meant for people who are HIV negative.
They enable the body to recognize and fight the virus infecting the body therefore protecting the person from getting the virus.
The vaccines do not contain any HIV live viruses so you cannot get HIV from the vaccine.
They are not yet available and are still being developed for testing.
On the other hand, therapeutic vaccines are for people who are already infected with the virus. It improves their immune system and prevents the virus from multiplying and progressively suppresses the virus.
As researchers say, it will also reduce the risk of the infected from spreading the virus to other people.
The aim of therapeutic vaccines is to prevent progression of the virus without the victim having to take ART’s. it may have to be used with other therapies in order to be fully effective.
There are no therapeutic vaccines yet confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but research is ongoing.
Why is a HIV vaccine important?
- First of all, it will do away with the risk of HIV negative people from getting infected with the virus, which is a major step in eliminating HIV and AIDS as there will be no spreading. This is because when infected people are treated
with therapeutic vaccines, it will reduce the risk of infecting others as the virus will be suppressed.
- Vaccine is the better option to ART’s and other current drugs being used on HIV patients. This is because this drugs mostly have various side effects. This discourages most infected people from undergoing the medication thus they abandon the treatments due to some severe side effects. There are also patients who are drug resistant due to various factors and therefore their bodies don’t respond to some of this treatments. With vaccines, all this will be eliminated and they will be more effective and easy to use.
- Vaccine is a drug that will be introduced to the body once or in just a short time as compared to drugs which patients have to take for the rest of their lives. Doctors are not assured that patients don’t get tired and abandon the drugs, which is a risk. Therefore vaccines will eliminate that.
- Though other preventive measures such using condoms during sex for protection are effective, most people still don’t consider them. Therefore, vaccines are more of a sure preventive way to prevent HIV and AIDS.
What kind of research is being done on HIV cure and treatment vaccines and drugs?
Availability and cost
People are of different income levels and also not all people live in he cities.
There is no point in making an expensive vaccine that is only available to the rich.
Therefore, researchers are also making sure that the drugs and vaccines can be accessed by everyone so as to be effective. Otherwise they will be of no use in fighting HIV and AIDS.
Safety, effectiveness and response of patients to the vaccines.
Researchers have to ensure that the vaccines are safe on the patients to avoid severe outcomes.
They also have to research one whether the preventive vaccine will completely prevent people from getting the HIV virus.
This includes a risky test on positive people therefore they have to do a well detailed research on that.
This will relate on how users respond to the vaccines and the drugs under
research. For now the world wait for testing and approval by the FDA for safe use.
Safety of vaccines.
Scientists have to make sure that the vaccines are safe to the body and they do not introduce the HIV virus to a HIV negative person.
They have to ensure that the vaccines do not make the body to overproduce white blood cells which fight diseases, as it could be quite dangerous.