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Repeated trials have shown that the combination of a protease inhibitor plus two nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors or HAART is significantly more effective in reducing the occurrence of AIDS-defining illnesses or death in patients with advanced HIV disease than dual therapy.HAART reduces disease progression, reduces opportunisitc infections and cancers and decreases death by more then 50 %.Depletion of CD4 T helper cells in the lamina propria reduces the recruitment of new T and B lymphocytes into the lymphoid tissue.
For the second time ever, a patient living with HIV appears to be in remission from the virus after receiving a stem cell transplant as part of lymphoma treatment.
The man has been effectively HIV-free for 18 months—too short a time to definitively say that he has been officially cured.
Advances in HIV medication mean that the virus can now be a chronic condition that is impossible to transmit to others.
However, the cocktail of drugs needed to keep the virus at bay are expensive, and wear heavily on other parts of the body over time.
But in this single case study, published in Nature (paywall), his team, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, say that his recovery is precedent for research into using gene therapy to treat HIV in the future.
The news suggests reason for hope among people who have HIV.
Numerous finger-like villi project into the lumen of the gut and are mostly made up of specialised absorptive epithelial cells (enterocytes) and goblet cells that produce mucous to protect and lubricate the epithelial cell layer and absorb nutrients and drugs.
HIV infection in the gut causes malabsorption of nutrients due to the disruption in the normal development of intestinal villi.
In the study, a man who had been living with HIV since 2003 was diagnosed with late-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012.
His health-care providers believed that his best treatment would be a transplant of healthy stem cells that would give rise to new, healthy blood cells.