By Sruti Srivatsan
Results from a United Kingdom-based study suggest that fewer than one in
1,000 HIV-positive individuals can control HIV/AIDS disease progression
naturally without antiretroviral therapy.
The authors of the study, however, cautioned that this number could be an
underestimation. They noted that some natural HIV controllers, people who can
control HIV without antiretrovirals, may not have gotten themselves checked for
HIV due to the absence of symptoms.
Results also showed that among slow HIV progressors, people whose HIV
progresses to AIDS but more slowly than usual, those with lower amounts of HIV
in the blood were more likely to show minimal immune system loss over time. In
addition, in most cases, controllers and non-progressors did eventually progress
“Studying these patients could form the basis for the design of novel
strategies to prevent immune deterioration in HIV-infected individuals,” said
Dr. Nesrina Imami, a medical statistician in Immunology at Imperial College,
London and senior author of the study, in correspondence with The AIDS Beacon.
She added that understanding how the immune systems in these individuals control
HIV could lead to therapeutic options that target the virus.
For more information, please refer to the study in PLoS One.
Article courtesy of The AIDS Beacon