Rapid drug treatment after HIV infection may be enough to "functionally cure" about one in 10 patients, say researchers in France.
They have been analysing 14 people who stopped therapy, but have since shown no signs of the virus resurging.
It follows reports of a baby girl being effectively cured after very early treatment in the US.
However, most people infected with HIV do not find out until the virus has fully infiltrated the body.
The group of patients, known as the Visconti cohort, all started treatment within 10 weeks of being infected. The patients were caught early as they turned up in hospital with other conditions and HIV was found in their blood.
They stuck to a course of antiretroviral drugs for three years, on average, but then stopped.
The drugs keep the virus only in check, they cannot eradicate it from its hiding places inside the immune system.