• Two medicine bottles are placed just above an HIV positive vaccine sign.

Two medicine bottles are placed just above an HIV positive vaccine sign. (Photo : YouTube/ TheLipTV )

A functional cure for HIV has been revealed by experts recently. Although far from being perfected, five individuals carrying the deadly virus have been currently freed from any detectable traces of HIV.

The reports of a functional cure have been traced from the efforts of Beatriz Mothe of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, and her colleagues. Three years ago, the group of researchers started a trial involving 24 people having HIV. The test subjects were given two vaccines developed by Tomas Hanke and his colleagues at the University of Oxford, according to New Scientist.

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Along with the vaccines was the usual antiretroviral drugs (ART), which every patient should be taking each day in order for the virus to be stopped from replicating. After years of doing experiment with the medication and the inclusion of vaccines developed by experts, five of the participants no longer needed to take antiretroviral drugs for their immune system could now suppress the virus.

Despite the progress of the treatment, Mothe and her associates are still unable to determine why two-thirds of the subjects didn't respond to the therapy. However, the director of The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne, Sharon Lewin, views the progress as a breakthrough. It is the first treatment to stop the virus from replicating without the daily use of antiretroviral drugs.

Unsurprisingly, skeptics were quick to raise their opinions about the latest HIV/AIDS breakthrough. Some believed that such result is too early to be considered as a functional cure.

"The study was very small and only five out of 13 participants experienced the positive impact, all for less than a year so far. To be confident that they have been functionally cured of HIV, much longer follow-up is needed. But all are in early development and much more research is needed to achieve the functional cure." Metro quoted spokesperson of The National Aids Trust.

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