British researchers testing a new “kick and kill” HIV treatment say one man appears to be completely free of the virus that causes AIDS.

According to The Sunday Times, a 44-year-old unidentified social worker who participated in a trial for the new therapy appears to be cured of HIV. The previously HIV-positive man appears to be completely free of the virus after undergoing the experimental treatment. He is the first of 50 people to finish the trial.

The therapy involves taking a vaccine that helps the immune system detect infected cells, followed by a dose of a histone deacetylase inhibitor (Vorinastat), which activates dormant cells infected with HIV. Once “kicked” out of dormancy, the cells are destroyed by the body's immune system.

“This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV,” Mark Samuels of Britain's National Institute for Health Research told the Times.

“This is a huge challenge and it's still early days, but the progress has been remarkable,” he added.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) cannot reach dormant infected T-cells, which means patients must continue taking the medicines to suppress HIV, making the disease manageable.