What is HIV? HIV is the name given to a virus that attacks the natural immune system of the body. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Both the virus and the infection it causes are known as HIV. HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV alters the body’s immune system making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. There is currently no available treatment for HIV/AIDS. Doctors prescribe a combination of medicines known as “cocktails.” The cocktails strengthen the immune system to keep HIV symptoms from developing into AIDS or to relieve AIDS symptoms. The cocktails are often very costly. They have serious side effects. Also, they may work for a limited period of time. The difficulty with treating HIV is that it hides in dormant cells that the human immune system cannot get to. However, it now appears that scientist may have made an incredible breakthrough. A clinical trial of a new HIV treatment in the UK is showing no signs of the virus in the blood of the first 50 patients to complete the trials. While this discovery is promising, it is far too early to say the virus has been cured just yet. This is because the virus could return. The trial is being conducted by five British universities in collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service. These parties believe they are on the verge of defeating HIV once and for all. While the trial is still in its infancy, the progress that has been made to date is truly remarkable. The treatment being used in the clinical trial is the first that aims at destroying the HIV in every part of the body. The treatment combines a drug that reactivates dormant cells that contain HIV with a vaccine that’s designed to help the immune system to locate and kill them. The vaccine is the first part of the treatment administered to patients, waking up the dormant cells, followed by a drug called “Vorinostat” which allows the immune system to finish them off. Current antiretroviral drugs are effective at stopping HIV in its tracks. However, no treatment that kills off the virus altogether has been discovered to date. This new treatment, therefore, has the hope of millions of people around the globe riding on it.