In response to the recent attention in the media regarding the RIVER study run by the UK CHERUB collaboration, we would like to clarify the following.
Our study will report in 2018, and until then we will not know if the intervention has had an effect. We do know from our first participant that the intervention was well tolerated. This is the first time that this combination has been given in a clinical trial, which we hope will be the first of many collaborations exploring HIV cure between our five universities and NHS hospital trusts, supported by the NIHR.
An important clarification is that all participants involved in the study will be expected to have no HIV in their blood because they are receiving antiretroviral therapy – these are the standard drugs we use to treat HIV. This does not mean they have been cured as some headlines have suggested. This does mean that their immune systems will recover and that they will not transmit the virus. We look forward to reviewing the final results of this ground-breaking study, but until then should emphasise that we cannot yet state whether any individual has responded to the intervention or been cured.