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30-year-old women lose all signs of HIV infection, Gives medical science hope


A 30-year-old woman in the city of Esperanza in Argentina has raised hope for medical researchers that there might be a permanent way to cure HIV/AIDS. All signs of the infection have disappeared in the woman.

She is one of the very few people who has fought off the virus permanently. Scientists are not sure how the woman's body defeated the virus. Previously, two other such cases have been reported. But, they had undergone extensive treatment for blood cancer involving stem cell transplants.

The best bet is that her immune system developed an abortive infection after the initial response. This enabled the body to recognise and destroy the virus better, said Sharon Lewin, co-author of the study and director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne.

Researchers led by Xu Yu at Boston's Ragon Institute and Natalia Laufer from the Institute of Biomedical Research in Retrovirus and AIDS in Buenos Aires conducted a detailed analysis of her cells from blood as well as tissues. She has the clinical features of an HIV elite controller, which means that the infection has been undetectable for years. She was diagnosed with HIV in 2013, reported Bloomberg.

A study about the woman published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine says that the virus did not reemerge in her even after she quit taking powerful drugs. The virus hasn't integrated into her DNA. Experts suspect that she is experiencing a "sterilising cure" which means she no longer carries a replica form of the virus.

Experts have been trying to find a cure for HIV infection and AIDS for decades. So far, the efforts to eradicate the virus have not been successful. However, medical science has managed to suppress it. Most patients are living with a reservoir of replica viruses that is reactivated when they stop taking medicines.

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