If you are living with HIV, then you know that there is no cure for this virus. There are therapies that can keep it under control and stop the patient’s situation from getting worse, but there is no cure yet. Doctors, clinicians and researchers, with the cooperation of those with HIV, are learning more all the time about how to stop, or slow, HIV-infected cells from replicating. In the meantime, those affected are trying to live their life as best, and as healthy as they can.
What can help?
Did you know that there is a lot of research and practice being done with stem-cell transplants, immune cell therapy, and CAR T cell therapy to cure, treat, or improve various cancers? This research can help patients with HIV too. In fact, there are over 126 clinical trials being done currently that are investigating the use of CAR-T immune therapy to treat HIV. There is some breakthrough work being done, thanks to immune cell banking. Although it is impossible to change the past, people can still be ready for what might come in the future. Those who think they might have a high chance of getting a cancer or HIV should think about banking their immune cells while they are still young and healthy.
Why can HIV only be controlled at this point?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is able to replicate itself easily and quickly. When the ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) that keeps the virus under control is stopped, the reservoir of infection takes over and replicates quickly, and gets stronger. This makes it difficult to stop HIV treatment. With the treatments, HIV patients can still do many of the same things as those without HIV can do.
CAR T cells can reprogram the immune system
With cancer treatments, however, CAR T-cell therapy uses the patient’s own immune T-cells to reprogram the specific cancer-diseased, or HIV-infected cells so that healthy cells reproduce and survive. These same CAR T cells can be used to treat HIV.
Store those healthy cells before any signs of infections appear
T cells are a white blood cell that determines how the body responds to foreign substances in the body and a young and healthy person has a large amount of healthy T cells. These T cells are an important part of the immune system. A healthy immune system attacks viruses. Preserving healthy blood now means that your own healthy blood will be available to you, should you ever need it.
The benefits could be life saving
People do think twice when they consider putting their healthy immune cells and tissues into a bank for preservation for use later. There is a cost to storing stem cells and immune cells in a bank that keeps them at the proper temperature and condition, but the benefits can be indescribable. CAR T cells are powerful in the fight against immune infections, and a cure for HIV might soon be possible. Anyone who is thinking about ways to prepare for what may come in their future, or their child’s future should find out more about what immune cell banking can do.
Click here for more information about immune cell banking and how it can help those with HIV.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD