Danish researchers at Aarhus University have made a major discovery that may be a step towards finding a cure for AIDS.
At the 20th International AIDS Conference on Tuesday in Melbourne, the researchers presented a pilot study in which they had successfully treated HIV patients with the leukaemia medicine romidepsin.
Their results may mean that HIV patients don't have to live the rest of their lives on medication.
Closer to cure
The research team was led by Ole Schmeltz Søgaard, a senior researcher in the department of infectious diseases at Aarhus University, who told media that the discovery is hopefully a step towards a cure.
"We are extremely satisfied with the results of this study. We have reached a level that no one has reached before," he told Jyllands-Posten. "However, it's only a step in the right direction, and there is still a long way to finding a cure for HIV."
Kicks out virus
When HIV has first infected the body, it's not going to leave, but the tests have revealed that romidepsin can 'kick out' viral infections from the cells.
If it's possible to completely remove the virus from the cells, HIV patients may be spared medical treatment for a certain period and maybe even for the rest of their lives.
Around 6,000 people in Denmark are infected with HIV, according to health research institution Statens Serum Institut.