SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A cure to AIDS might be closer than what we think. This after a study confirmed that a drug can stop HIV from transmitting.
“If your virus is completely controlled by HIV medications then someone who is HIV positive like me, cannot pass the virus on to an HIV negative partner. This is huge,” said former San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.
Sheehy was the first publicly HIV positive public official in San Francisco. He has lived with the virus for 22 years and says this study will bring hope to many in the community.
The study conducted by the University College London looked at 1,000 males couples in Europe where one partner had HIV.
After the end of the eight year study, they concluded that the virus was not transmitted. The HIV positive patients were using the antiretroviral therapy to suppress the AIDs virus
“This suppressed in such a low level that the person is not infectious anymore. Now, what is so important is getting everybody tested. Those who are positive getting them under treatment, maintaining that treatment and people adhering to the medication on a daily basis,” said Dr. Mervyn Silverman.
Dr. Silverman led the San Francisco Department of Public Health in the 80’s during the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, he says this is a major step.
“I think we are (getting closer) and the American Foundation for AIDS research is spending $100 million over the course of four years and hopefully we will have one soon.”
How close is close? Dr. Silverman said there could be a cure by the year 2020.