When a cure will be found?
Sep 30, 2011
I am newly a newly diagnosed patient, i am totally worry about myself and the future. I searched through the internet extensively and there is no cure in the near future. But researchers are trying hard to develop vaccine towards a functional cure. Could anybody tell me based on current progress, when a functional cure will be available?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
We get this question from time to time- "functional cure" is a buzz word that I use very cautiously (anytime the "c" word is used, it's bound to stir emotions). By functional cure, we're talking about strategies that can render one protected from the effects of HIV, and without having to take daily medications.
Recent work on zinc-finger gene modification has garnered a lot of attention and some have used that "c" word to describe the research.
There been considerable progress in many fronts in HIV medicine (though to the many lives affected, not fast or safe enough). To paraphrase my Nobel Prize-winning mentor, Professor Tom Cech who after being award the prize said that it may take up to 10 years to see if a ground breaking discovery will result in a "cure". He was speaking about cancer cures, but I think that this (like most things that Tom said) was a insightful framework for thinking about novel ideas and whether they will have a dramatic impact on the human experience.
So, I think that a functional cure for HIV could happen. The early-stage clinical studies (and one prominent Berlin patient) have shown the possibilities. We will have to encourage this line of investigation, but it could still take several years to determine if this is the winning strategy or not. (BTW, the work that I was involved in didn't develop into that cancer "cure")
Hope that helps. With fingers crossed and attention paid to the research meetings, BY
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