Study Says 14 People Are ‘Functionally Cured’ Of HIV

A new study out of the Pasteur Institute reveals that 14 new people have been “functionally cured” of the HIV virus through rapid treatment after early diagnosis.

The French researchers have seemingly found that through early and effective HIV treatment, patients may experience a so-called functional cure. Fourteen patients who were treated within the first two months of infection were later able to stop combination anti-retroviral therapy without an HIV rebound.

According to Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, all 14 still have HIV, and in most cases it can only be detected with ultra-sensitive laboratory tests and is undetectable by standard methods, Sáez-Cirión and colleagues reported in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

In all cases, the infection appears to be under control without the use of drugs — the definition of a functional cure, which unlike a “sterilizing” cure does not completely get rid of HIV. The report is the second in several days of what appears to be curative early treatment of HIV.

At the recent Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, researchers noted that combination anti-retroviral treatment in the first few hours of life appears to have eliminated HIV infection in a baby.