Breakthrough news out of the U.K. surfaced Monday morning (Oct. 3), when immunologists at the U.K.’s top universities might’ve created a drug that combats the cells that host the HIV virus, Wired reports.
The antiretroviral vaccine was tested on the blood of a 44-year-old man in London who “showed no detectable signs of HIV after the treatment took place,” the site reads. In addition, one of the researchers, Mark Samuels, told The Sunday Times that although this was a major feat, they still have a long journey ahead of them to a HIV-free world.
“This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV. We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV,” Samuels said. “This is a huge challenge and it’s still early days, but the progress has been remarkable.”
The 44-year-old patient will still need to take the necessary drugs to prevent the HIV cells from multiplying despite the previous results. If the treatment still remains a success, those mandatory drugs may not be needed in the future.
According to the CDC, 2.1 million new cases of HIV surfaced last year. Globally, nearly 36.7 million people are HIV-positive. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 65 percent of those living with HIV.