DR Congo HIV study: ‘New hope in search for cure’

Scientists carrying out HIV research in the Democratic Republic of Congo have discovered a rare group of people who could potentially unlock new treatments to tackle the virus.

Known as HIV controllers the group tested positive for HIV antibodies but they had a low to non-detectable viral load without the use of medication.

The head of Abbott’s global viral surveillance programme, Mary Rodgers, told BBC World News that typically less than 1% of people with HIV are able to suppress the virus naturally, so when they found up to 4% of people who were able to do this, the scientists were shocked.

She explained that the study was serving as a springboard for further research.

“When we first started to see the data coming in from the study we were surprised, but we were also elated. This could mean that this is something that we can actually cure,” she said.

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