Good afternoon everyone, my name is Xin Ying and today I’m presenting on HIV Treatment.
Before I begin, let me tell you the story of a man called Tim. Tim lived in Germany, in the city Berlin. At age 30, Tim contracted HIV. He lived the next few years knowing that one day, he will die from AIDS. Fast forward to 12 years later, Tim was still alive, even though he become more frail and weak. Unfortunately, the doctor only had more bad news for him. Tim was diagnosed with leukemia. What do you guys think happened to him? How many of you think Tim died from AIDS and leukemia, raise your hand! (repeat if necessary) How many of you think Tim was cured of AIDS and leukemia? Alright, here goes… None of you were right! Tim was cured of AIDS and leukemia. I repeat … This is what happened. In 2007, the doctors gave Tim a bone marrow transplant which cured him of leukemia. But the donor was also resistant to HIV. So Tim got his bone marrow and the HIV virus disappeared as well. Tim was cured of HIV, just like that. This shows that it is possible to cure HIV.
How does HIV work? You need a key to fit into the lock, so you can open the door. Similarly there is a protein called CCR5. It is like the lock for white blood cells or T cells. The virus HIV is the key. The lock is on our cells, while the virus is the key. So the virus must fit into the lock and gain entry into the white blood cells. They can then infect the cells and reproduce. In this way, the number of viral cells increases and spreads throughout the body.
How to cure HIV? HIV-resistant people actually have a mutation in this CCR5 gene. Tim received bone marrow with the mutated genes. So the shape of the lock is different. The virus cannot fit into the lock, and as a result, it cannot progress from there. He can no longer be infected with HIV. In other words, he is cured of HIV.
Since donors are hard to come by, scientists are looking for other ways to cure HIV. But the concept is the same. They have removed white blood cells or T cells from patients. They remove the CCR5 gene using an enzyme called zinc finger nuclease. The cells are then reinfused into the patient. Once they're back in the body, the cells travel in the body just like normal T cells.
However, there is one drawback. These T cells do not live forever. Once they die and are replaced by new cells that are not mutated. HIV can come back to haunt patients.
Here are the key messages from the article. This is a big step forward toward our goal of developing a functional cure for the disease.In the near future, AIDS patients no longer need to rely on aggressive antiretroviral therapies throughout their lives.
With regards to rating, I will give this article a 10. It is never easy to find a cure for any disease. There are bound to be obstacles. What matters is we cross these hurdles and find the cure. This article demonstrated that it is possible to find a cure for HIV. Even though we have only taken a baby step, it is still a step towards finding a cure for a disease that has been causing suffering to mankind for decades. In fact, by identifying the the specific drawbacks, we know exactly what to overcome to get to our goal.
These are the issues for discussion. Do you think it is possible for us to find a cure for HIV? And why?Besides scientific reasons, what other obstacles stand between us and the cure for HIV? Example: Antiretroviral therapies will be resistant, as it means taking their lucrative share of the healthcare industry away from them.
I have come to the end of my presentation. Thank you.
Chen Xin Ying
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