Several early stage clinical trials are now testing new drug and antiviral combinations that could help patients keep HIV in check. Gavino Garay reports.
News worth celebrating on World Aids Day December 1st... and surprisingly, it came from a study in monkeys involving an antibody used to treat Crohn's disease. Researchers in Bethesda, Maryland, are steps closer to helping patients keep their HIV in check without the need for heavy medication and a slew of side effects. They're in the early stages of testing a new treatment in humans that would effectively put HIV in sustained remission. The study came out of the lab of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who hailed lifesaving advances in HIV treatment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR SAYING: "I would think the advances made in treatment and prevention with preexposure prophylaxis are some of the most breathtaking advances in science that have been made in anyone's memory." Clinical trial patient Manni Baez says he didn't think twice about volunteering to help. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANNI BAEZ, CLINICAL TRIAL PATIENT SAYING: "I had read lots of stories lately promising a cure or vaccine for HIV and I felt the need to do something to help." The medication made by Japanese drugmaker Takeda is said to control HIV without the need for ongoing treatment. A second effort combines a therapeutic vaccine from Johnson & Johnson with an immune system booster from Gilead. Advocates are hailing the treatment as a possible "functional cure" to HIV.