Spontaneous HIV ‘Cure’ could be possible, scientists believe

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Last Updated: Sep 3, 2016

French scientists at France’s Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) are seeing a possibility of HIV ‘cure’ through a spontaneous mechanism. They have unveiled a genetic mechanism by which they believe two men were cured of HIV.

France's Institute of Health and Medical Research

On Tuesday, the scientists said they had found the genetic mechanism by which the two men may have been cured, and added that this offers a new strategy in the war against HIV/AIDS.

Both men never developed AIDS symptoms. One of the men was infected with HIV 30 years ago.

developed AIDS symptoms

The scientists said HIV remained in their immune cells but was inactivated because its genetic code had changed. The team said in a statement that the apparent spontaneous cure has thrown up an intriguing avenue for drug engineers.


The AIDS causing virus invades human CD4 immune cells where it replicates. It reprograms it to become virus production center.

“We propose that HIV cure may occur through HIV endogenization in humans,” the team said.

HIV endogenization in humans

“These findings suggest that without therapeutic and prophylactic strategies, after several decades of HIV/host integrations and millions of deaths, it is likely that a few individuals might have endogenized and neutralized the virus and transmitted it to their progeny,” the team added.

“We believe that the persistence of HIV DNA can lead to cure, and protection, from HIV.”


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