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  • Good News, Everyone!

    Heard about this on the news yesterday at dinner. Apparently, we've managed to cure not one, but two people of HIV!

    Unfortunately, the treatment seems to be difficult to produce on a mass scale, but the fact that it's worked twice now is a good sign for its potential future.

    We've discovered a way to cure an illness that makes the immune system stop working. And if we can cure something like that, then we can cure just about anything.

    Hear that, Cancer? We're coming for your ass, next!

    ABC Report
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-06-2019, 08:10 AM.

  • #2
    Excellent news indeed!

    It’s worth noting that, while two people have now had the HIV virus go into long-term, possibly permanent remission, each after a bone marrow transplant, this doesn’t necessarily mean we have “found a cure.” There’s still a lot of work to be done to figure out exactly why the transplants sent the virus into remission, and to find a consistent, safe way to reproduce the effect. But this gives us a direction.


    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Excellent news indeed!

      It’s worth noting that, while two people have now had the HIV virus go into long-term, possibly permanent remission, each after a bone marrow transplant, this doesn’t necessarily mean we have “found a cure.” There’s still a lot of work to be done to figure out exactly why the transplants sent the virus into remission, and to find a consistent, safe way to reproduce the effect. But this gives us a direction.

      I don't know anything about the first person they cured with this, but the video says they "almost died" from the treatment. Hopefully, they're managed to get better, and with gene therapy research, we can make the procedure safer, and more available in the future.

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      • #4
        I don't want to diminish the importance of this news, but it's important not to exaggerate the scientific value of this in regards to the rest of medical research.

        This isn't going to help 'cure cancer' largely because cancer is a wide spectrum of diseases and not a single beast to slay (though it might increase funding for studying how a this specific gene is known to interact with specific cancers).

        It also doesn't help when things like this get sensationalized and the decades of hard work gets ignored (and thus less valued and less funded) because of a random breakthrough. People have been studying the CCR5-delta32 mutation for almost two decades as a potential weapon against HIV (though even then it might not work against all strains of HIV) after it was discovered that it made people with the mutation resistant to infection.

        There's a reason we don't give people bone marrow transplants or gene therapy from sickle-cell patients to combat malaria. And researchers have been trying hard to use more traditional approaches knowing that the CCR5-delta32 mutation exists as a template without needing to cause the mutation so the impacted cells aren't potentially weakened to other diseases.

        Demonstrating that introducing the mutation directly can massively improve the health of HIV patients is wonderful news... but HIV isn't defeated, and this isn't a new marvel of a technique. It's a rallying point that society needs to invest in medical research.

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