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Some hope in the search for HIV cure

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Understanding the nature of the virus has also seen a decrease in the stigma attached to it

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

A cure for the HIV infection may be years or decades away, but the revelation this week that a British man has become the second known adult to be functionally cured has given Aids experts a hint at finding the cure.

This offers hope to millions worldwide that the pandemic can one day be defeated. South Africa, according to UNAids Data 2018, has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.1million people living with HIV.

The country accounts for a third of all new HIV infections in southern Africa. South Africa took a huge step in addressing the pandemic in 2016, when it rolled out the largest HIV antiretroviral treatment programme in the world.

Understanding the nature of the virus has also seen a decrease in the stigma attached to it, although there are pockets where the stigma persists.

For those living with the virus, there is no quick solution, and for them, the disease may very well lead to their demise before a cure is eventually found. For those working on the cure, there is hope that the virus will one day be beaten, saving millions of lives.

Until that happens, the focus remains on finding new HIV treatment strategies.