According to reports, Spanish scientists claim that five patients living with the disease are virus-free seven months after taking a new vaccine. Prof. Maduike Ezeibe of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State claimed to have discovered a cure for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) just three weeks ago.
New Scientist published a study that explains that this new treatment was developed by researchers in Spain and allowed the patients to do without the regular Anti Retro Viral (ARV) drugs – the current method of suppressing HIV.
The study included 13 participants, who had taken ARVs for a little over three years on average – all within six months of being infected. After four weeks, eight of the patients saw the virus rebound. But the other five patients have gone six to 28 weeks without having to restart the treatment. According to reports, the virus became temporarily undetectable, but it has never gone above 2,000 copies per milliliter, which is the criterion to restart treatment.
With this being possible, Scientists would be glad to have made a breakthrough in finding a possible solution to the ‘incurable’ disease after 30 years.
The Guardian spoke to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who told them that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS as opposed to Prof. Maduike Ezeibe claim. He said, “No, there is no cure for HIV. It is important that we do not deceive our people. There is no cure for HIV. However, treatment is available that allows those infected to live healthy and productive lives. We encourage everyone to get tested, know their HIV status and if positive, get treatment in one of many centres in Nigeria. Treatment is free.”
He also wants to avoid giving patients false hopes that can lead to high mortality rates as patients may abandon their Anti Retro Viral (ARVs) drugs.
In response to Prof. Ezeibe’s claim of a cure, Ihekweazu said:“Science is universal and there is no place for sentiments when it comes to science. While I would love for this breakthrough to come from Nigeria, there should be no emotional considerations in assessing the validity of scientific evidence.”
Scientists are yet to test the results in a large-scale clinical trial, but they say the vaccine may be a “functional cure.”