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14 French adults treated within two months of infection  maintain undetectable virus levels after stopping antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.

Unlike the “sterilizing cure,” in which the body would be cleared of all HIV, in a functional cure, the body can control HIV without the help of meds.

As such, there is still virus in all members of the French group, although it is only detectable with highly sensitive tests.

All 10 men and four women who achieved the functional cure were treated during primary (also known as “acute”) infection and then remained on ARVs for between 1 and 7.6 years; the median length was 36.5 months. The individuals terminated treatment for various reasons.

The group has remained off ARVs for between 4 and 9.6 years.

Eleven of them maintain viral loads below 40, and three of them below five copies. Standard viral load tests reach an undetectable reading below a level of 50, yet more sensitive single-copy assays can detect lower levels.

While these findings won’t lead to immediate practical implications for HIV treatment, the researchers argue they are a proof of concept that there are circumstances in which the immune system can control the virus.

To read full article in POZ Magazine CLICK HERE

 

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