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HIV ‘cure’ based on one patient? Here’s what you need to know

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Kevin Lomangino is the managing editor of HealthNewsEvaluate.org. He tweets as @OkayLomangino.

“Cure” is one of the seven phrases we expect you ought to keep away from in well being care journalism.
Stories from The Guardian and different information shops show why this time period shouldn’t be thrown round carelessly.
Their blaring headlines right this moment elevate hope most cancers drug might “cure” HIV an infection — a worldwide scourge affecting tens of millions.
But this potential treatment is based on outcomes from only a single man whose reservoir of dormant HIV-infected cells went down after remedy with the most cancers drug nivolumab.
Further down within the story we be taught that this man has solely been adopted for about 4 months, and there’s no telling if his reservoir of contaminated cells would possibly improve once more.
We additionally be taught second man with HIV noticed no profit from the drug.
Then the one quoted supply who’s not affiliated with the research says that “talks of cure are premature.”
One factor we don’t be taught from The Guardian story is that this: three out of the seven research authors have obtained funds from Bristol Myers Squibb, which makes nivolumab.
Today is World AIDS Day, a day when the worldwide neighborhood is urged to present assist for individuals residing with HIV.
Hyped headlines touting a doable treatment based on one affected person aren’t supportive of sufferers in any respect. They tease false hope that in the end can damage the people who find themselves struggling.
Let’s be clear: this was an intriguing and probably necessary commentary about one man’s lab take a look at outcomes — the headlines ought to have caught to that.
There can be loads of time to reward a “cure” — if that’s what it seems to be — as soon as the proof is in.

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Updated: December 3, 2017 — 1:08 pm

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