Fourteen patients that were part of a group of 70 examined at the Pasteur Institute in Paris have all shown signs of being “functionally cured” of the virus. The group began receiving anti-retroviral medications between 35 days and 10 weeks of contracting HIV.
The patients stayed on the drugs for an average of three years, before stopping treatment. The virus has not worsened and they have not shown symptoms for years.
The researchers concluded that HIV-positive patients who undergo early treatment for at least a year have a 15 per cent chance of going into HIV remission for at least two years after stopping treatment.
The early treatment is similar to the treatment of the Mississippi baby who was functionally cured. She was administered treatment just 30 hours after being born.
In both cases, the virus is still present, but in a greatly reduced form.