UN’s AIDS agency ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible

Donald Bliss/NLM/NIH 3D structure of HIV infected (blue, green) and uninfected (brown, purple) T cells interacting. The possibility of a cure preventing HIV infection was highlighted for the first time since 2007, by a case in London, publicized on 5 March 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The UN agency leading the global effort to end AIDS, said on Tuesday that a new case of a patient who has been “functionally cured” of HIV infection, is greatly encouraging, but there is still a long way to go before the illness can be eradicated.

The male patient, who was being treated for lymphatic cancer at a London hospital in the United Kingdom, underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016, with cells from a donor carrying a rare genetic resistance to the HIV virus.

Both his cancer and HIV went into remission, and 18 months on, he is no longer taking HIV drugs and all traces of infection have become undetectable, according to doctors treating him. Researchers reportedly say that it is too early, however, to say the patient has been fully cured.

“UNAIDS is greatly encouraged by the news that an HIV-positive man has been functionally cured of HIV”, said the agency in a press statement.

“Although this breakthrough is complicated and much more work is needed, it gives us great hope for the future that we could potentially end AIDS with science, through a vaccine or a cure,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

“However, it also shows how far away we are from that point,” he added saying it emphasized “the absolute importance of continuing to focus HIV prevention and treatment efforts.”

Treatment ‘not viable’ for large numbers of patients

The agency stressed that as stem cell transplants are “highly complex, intensive and costly procedures with substantial side-effects”, they were not a “viable way of treating large numbers of people living with HIV.”

“However, the results do offer a greater insight for researchers working on HIV cure strategies and highlight the continuing importance of investing in scientific research and innovation,” added UNAIDS.

The so far anonymous London patient, is only the second reported case of a functional cure for HIV, the first being a patient in the German capital, Berlin, who received similar cancer treatment in 2007.

There is currently no cure, and UNAIDS is working to ensure that all people living with and affected by HIV have access to life-saving HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

In 2017 – the latest annual figures available – there were just under 37 million people living with HIV and 1.8 million people became newly infected with the virus. In the same year, almost 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses and 21.7 million people had access to treatment.

Stigma and discrimination against HIV, continue to hold back key vulnerable population groups such as sex-workers, transgender people, intravenous drug users and migrants, and only one in four, living with HIV, are aware of their status.

Marking World AIDS Day in November, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said that the world stood at a “critical juncture”, and the direction of the response to the on-going epidemic, would determine whether or not the world could end AIDS by 2030, in line with the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.           

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

A new approach to scaling-up renewable power in emerging markets

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

COVID-19 wave III and the lessons learned

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

MEPs urge EU countries to be transparent about their COVID-19 vaccine supplies

Here’s how private investors can turn plastic into gold

Still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in all EU countries

Africa is set to get its first vertical forest

‘Millions facing starvation’ – Global political and business leaders on the economic impact of COVID-19

How the gender commuting gap could be harming women’s careers

Will 2020 be the year blockchain overcomes its hype?

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

Bacteria vs. humans: how to fight in this world war?

The future of energy is being shaped in Asia

What we know and what we don’t know about universal basic income

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

OECD household income up 0.7% in first quarter of 2018, outpacing GDP growth

First seat projections for the next European Parliament

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

Trump ‘used’ G20 to side with Putin and split climate and trade packs


Re-thinking citizenship education: bringing young people back to the ballot box

Commission issues guidance on the participation of third country bidders in the EU procurement market

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

What’s going on in Chernobyl today?

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

Support for EU remains at historically high level despite sceptics

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

European Business Summit 2015: In search of a vision for the future

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

Autumn 2019 Standard Eurobarometer: immigration and climate change remain main concerns at EU level

Stop the waste: UN food agencies call for action to reduce global hunger

The term AI overpromises. Let’s make machine learning work better for humans instead

How blended finance helped to keep energy supplies flowing during COVID-19

What will a post-pandemic economy look like? Here’s what chief economists expect

Innovation is the key to the pay-TV industry’s long-term growth

Mergers: Commission approves GlaxoSmithKline’s acquisition of Pfizer’s Consumer Health Business, subject to conditions

Coronavirus: Commission launches call for innovative response and recovery partnerships between EU regions

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

World-famous cultural institutions closed due to coronavirus are welcoming virtual visitors

As Houthi forces withdraw from key Yemeni ports, UN monitoring chief welcomes ‘first practical step on the ground’

Get out, stay out: how financial resilience helps end poverty

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

30 years of tissue engineering, what has been achieved?

Businesses are lacking moral leadership, according to employees

Mental health and suicide prevention

‘Perseverance is key’ to Iraq’s future, UN envoy tells Security Council

Belgium: Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships

European Commission recommends common EU approach to the security of 5G networks

The Future of Balkans: Embracing Education

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

Could Europe become the first climate-neutral continent?

Venezuela’s needs ‘significant and growing’ UN humanitarian chief warns Security Council, as ‘unparalleled’ exodus continues

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Svitlana Vorozhbitova says:

    “Last chance to find out …”.
    This is a teacher’s address to parents of graduates of schools and their teachers.
    Do you think you should start worrying about the independent lives of your children right now?
    In each new school year, I had to conduct two mandatory lessons on HIV / AIDS in senior classes, which are always positively perceived by children. And for the teacher conducting a lesson has always been easy, without stress, because the teaching method was specifically designed for teachers with any level of training on this topic. From the many years of practice teaching this topic, it was concluded that every adult can and should contribute to HIV prevention.
    We must help the youth! Absolutely everyone can do it, regardless of financial condition. For example, even if a person simply shares this information that in international practice there are specific lessons on HIV / AIDS prevention for high school students. And this person who shares this information will surely save the lives of several young people at once. These lessons have such power! And it’s always easy to check! Simply, children should get an opportunity to learn about the rules of survival in the modern world during the global HIV / AIDS epidemic! But only on special lessons meant for them. Other chaotic information without tracking perception of the topic may not protect young people from the danger of infection.
    Dear parents and teachers! Take advantage of this last chance for your children and teach them to protect themselves from HIV / AIDS before they leave school. Do not be indifferent to the fact that your children can leave school without this special knowledge! Check out this situation with queries at the level of parent associations! After all, the state guarantees high school students such knowledge! The question is whether parents and teachers will be interested in these special lessons and will they want to use them! Do not leave your children alone with a dangerous HIV / AIDS disease!
    To Study this Topic You Will Need:
    1. HIV/AIDS Prevention: Workbook for High School Students (author: S. Vorozhbytova).
    2. HIV/AIDS Prevention: Methodical Recommendations for the Teacher: 2 Lessons for a Safe and Healthy Life (author: S. Vorozhbytova).
    3. HIV / AIDS Prevention: Tests for High School Students (author: S. Vorozhbytova).
    All of them are published on Amazon.com: Books.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s