Five Kenyans, two men and three women appear to have overcome the HIV virus. This was said by the man leading the clinical trials of the unconventional regimen, Dr. Barasa Situma, a practicing pharmacist and lecturer at the Technical University in Nairobi who has been researching the HIV virus for years now.
These five among many others were treated with methotrexate, a drug that works by suppressing rapid expansion of the specialized stem cells in the bone marrow- hematopoietic cells, frequent lab tests have shown that the viral loads are now undetected. There was improvement after six months and after a year, test showed that they are free of the HIV virus.
The drug works by stopping rapid multiplication of CD4 progenitor cells in the bone marrow, where the HIV virus hides to avoid elimination by the immune system. Hence it get rid of the reservoir of the virus which the ARV’s are not able to reach.
Methotrexate has very serious side effects, hence should not be used without the advice of a physician.
Is this the cure for the world’s deadliest virus? This raises the hopes of a cure for the disease still deemed uncurable but manageable.
All the patients were confirmed to be HIV positive and after treatment the viral loads were undetectable even by the most advanced laboratory in Kenya, The Kenya Medical Research Institute ( KEMRI).
KEMRI said in a statement that they are not sure how this happened, but it is true that the patient are cured of HIV. It took them more than a week to monitor the tests and confirm that they are HIV negative.
The patients continue with the ARV’s while on methotrexate treatment.
Is this it? Or this cocktail of drugs playing a wily game with Kenya’s laboratories?
For the cocktail to be effective, the patient must be started on it early enough.