With so many amazing medications now available, human immunodeficiency virus is no longer the death sentence it was believed to be 30 years ago. But a cure for HIV has remained elusive -- that is, until now. This could be the miracle the world has been waiting for.
Scientists at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine have used a powerful dose of radiation to effectively eradicate the virus. That's big news. Standard treatment has mainly been anti-virals that suppress the virus and keep it at low levels, which lowers the risk of transmission. However, it's still present in the body and those medications don't protect the brain from HIV. The illness can still cause cognitive disorders and mental decline, according to doctors.
But this new treatment, dubbed a "radioactive smart bomb," has made the virus undetectable in mice and the blood taken from 15 human test subjects. It even penetrates the brain. It's the same type of treatment used to treat leukemia. The best part? It only delivers radiation to the HIV-infected cells without damaging healthy ones nearby. Amazing, right?
This could be an answer to the prayers of the 35 million people infected around the world. I just hope it's not too good to be true. There have been rumors and reports of other cures over the years, but with any luck, this is the one that will finally save countless lives. I am sure it is not without its risk. Taking doses of radiation is not easy on the body and there will surely be some side effects. However, it still will likely be well worth it to most. I imagine many HIV patients would try just about anything and I don’t blame them one bit.
Scientists now want to start human clinical trials. Fingers crossed it goes as expected.
Have you heard of other possible HIV cures?
Image via Iqbal Osman/Flickr