HIV infection can trigger AIDS: A virus weakens the immune system to such an extent that it can no longer fight off pathogens. The case of a Brazilian man now gives hope.
- Is AIDS finally curable? A Brazilian man who was treated for years with HIV medications* has been HIV-free for one year.
- This makes him the first person for whom medication has had this effect in the long term.
- Doctors are also making progress with regard to prevention: a pill is said to be able to protect against an HIV infection as well as condoms.
Update from 9. July 2020A 34-year-old Brazilian man who contracted AIDS may have been cured by medication. As Bild aktuell reports, the man could be the first person cured by medication – provided future HIV DNA tests also come back negative. The Brazilian was diagnosed HIV-positive in 2012, HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes a severe immune deficiency in humans. The man has since been treated with various HIV drugs: including an integrase inhibitor (dolutegravir) and a CCR5 blocker (celsentri), which blocks HIV from entering the cell. "Both drugs are quite well tolerated. In addition, he was given nicotinamide (vitamin B3)," Bild quotes Armin Schafberger from the German Aids Federation. The man has not been taking the medication for over a year and yet the virus is no longer detectable.
However, Schafberger points out that it is possible for a cell infected with HIV to wake up again after two or three years. And also missing in the case of the Brazilian Test results of cells from lymph nodes, nerve tissue and intestinal mucosa, Which can be used to ensure that nothing is detectable even in tissues where HIV is hiding.
Update from 25. November 2019Today starts in Bavaria the HIV test week. The state government is still advertising until 1. December 2015 (World AIDS Day) for having an HIV test done. This is available anonymously and free of charge at all health offices in Bavaria. Background: If an HIV infection is detected and treated at an early stage, the outbreak of AIDS can be prevented.
Article from 22. November 2019It’s been around for 20 years: the anti-AIDS pill, or PrEP for short-exposure prophylaxis). For a long time, it was only used to treat the disease. But it also has a preventive effect – in other words, it can protect against infection with HI viruses. The drug was approved for prevention under the brand name Truvada in the USA in 2012 and has also been available in Europe since 2016.
Prescription requirement: doctors can prescribe PrEP
In Germany, PrEP is available in the form of pills at pharmacies – provided you have a prescription from your doctor. Licensed physicians can prescribe anti-Aids pills to protect against HIV – then the public health insurances take over the costs for the medicine and the necessary examinations, as the German Aidshilfe writes.
The active ingredients in the drug, including emtricitabine, paralyze human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV for short). These damage the body’s defenses if left untreated, which in the worst case can result in life-threatening illnesses such as severe pneumonia. If such diseases have already broken out, physicians speak of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)), which translates as "acquired immune deficiency syndrome".
HIV clinic in London successfully uses anti-AIDS pill
HIV drugs such as PrEP suppress the HIV virus in the body and thus prevent the outbreak of AIDS: "Most people can live well and for a long time with HIV thanks to treatment", according to Heike Gronski, "Living with HIV" expert of the German Aidshilfe. With the development of medicines the medicine is in the fight against AIDS far advanced, nevertheless it comes again and again to new infections. But the use of PrEP could make the disease disappear altogether, as the Swiss portal NZZ am Sonntag reported – comparable with the introduction of vaccines against polio (polio for short).
In video: Experts venture prediction that AIDS could be defeated in ten years
An HIV clinic in London gives a positive prognosis: British doctors there have already been giving PrEP to at-risk groups since 2015, as NZZ am Sonntag writes. Since then, he said, there has been a whopping 80 percent drop in new HIV infections.