Coronavirus patient “heals after being treated with HIV treatment”

According to the latest report from the authorities, more than 300 people have been infected with the Coronavirus in Spain, in addition to 5 deaths recorded. Faced with the massive spread of Covid-19 in several countries, clinical trials are also multiplying in order to discover effective means of treatment and vaccination, according to Lepoint . A recent patient information supposedly Spanish cured through anti-HIV treatment was first relayed by local media including El Pais, before arouse the curiosity of our British colleagues Metro and The Sun .

In a forum that aims to be reassuring about the Coronavirus, Le point recalls that the anxiety and the panic surrounding should not be allowed to rejoice in certain advances. Among these, tests based on lopinavir and ritonavir, two protease inhibitors known in the antiretroviral treatment of HIV. The supposed similarities between the proton of Sars-Cov-2 of the coronavirus and HIV would be at the origin of several tests published in the Journal of Medical Virology, in order to test their effectiveness against the coronavirus. Reuters also mentioned this treatment in early February, combined with a second flu treatment.

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Complete remission in Spain, according to the newspaper El Pais

The patient’s name is Miguel Angel Benitez and is said to be 62 years old. According to information gathered by the Spanish daily, he was cured of the coronavirus at the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville.

In this hospital, he is said to have received the generally recommended treatment for HIV seropositivity, namely protease inhibitors, lopinavir, and ritonavir, thereby preventing the free circulation of the virus in the blood. Doctors have also combined the treatment with what is called interferon beta, a protein with antiviral action. According to Albert Bosch, president of the Spanish Society of Virology, “It is an experimental treatment that has worked well against other viruses”.

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Also according to El Pais, hospitals in Wuhan have also tried this same treatment for individuals suffering from coronavirus, although “evidence of its effectiveness is scarce”.

“This is potentially a good treatment”

The Sun interviewed Dr. Simon Clarke , professor of microbiology at the University of Reading in England, who said that the drugs used in Seville are not lacking in availability and that they can stop the spread of the virus. However, he qualifies his remarks by adding, “It is potentially a good treatment. But in the absence of a controlled trial, we cannot draw any conclusions ”.

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Eric D’Ortenzio, scientific coordinator of REACTing at Inserm and medical epidemiologist talks about the effectiveness of this type of treatment in an interview with the media The Conversation . According to the expert whose remarks were also relayed by France TV Info , “we will have to wait for the results, which will only be known in several weeks, before we can say which molecules should be used to treat the sick. For the moment, we cannot recommend one in particular, ”says Dr. D’Ortenzio.

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The Spanish daily meanwhile, concludes by stressing that as always when it comes to medicine, a single case is not enough to generalize the effectiveness of a treatment method and does not guarantee that the results will be the same in each patient.

The current assessment

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The latest assessment seems drastic according to LCI : worldwide, more than 97,000 cases of Covid-19 proven. The rapid spread of the virus mobilizes scientists as well as health authorities, to the point of being a major concern among the population, despite ceaseless efforts to find suitable treatments .

In France, chloroquine has aroused the curiosity of researchers and the press. The director of the Mediterranean Infection Institute, Didier Raoult, expressed that it would be useful against the coronavirus, an assumption which remains vague since one cannot launch into hasty conclusions without careful studies, according to the ministry for health. The French Press Agency ( AFP ) insists on the necessary mistrust regarding the interpretation of certain information.