A while ago it was announced that HIV had been cured in a single man, Timothy Ray Brown, aka the Berlin Patient, who underwent a bone marrow transplant unrelated to HIV and was given a completely new immune system. The donor is in the one percent of Caucasians immune to HIV by a genetic mutation. Brown, who was off HIV treatment medication at the time of the transplant, has not had to return to his treatment and is clinically cured of HIV.
A bone marrow transplant would be impossible to undergo with every HIV-positive patient, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t similar avenues of research worth exploring. New research is leaning toward drugs that would purge HIV and then allow the immune system to mop up these cells, and this could be achieved through gene therapy.
While a cure certainly won’t be immediate, the article by NPR
explains that it was at one time a taboo to even put “HIV” and “cure” in the same sentence, and the progress made has certainly changed this attitude.