Second person ‘cured’ of HIV using stem cell procedure

Local News

Scientists believe a patient has been effectively cured of HIV. The patient is remaining anonymous, but his case is similar to one more than a decade ago.

This morning; a possible breakthrough in the fight against AIDS.  Doctors say for only the second time, an HIV positive person is now showing no trace of the virus.

It comes 12 years after American Timothy Brown, known as ‘The Berlin Patient,’ became the first known adult to be cured.

Both patients underwent stem cell transplants from donors who carried a rare genetic mutation that made them resistant to HIV.

Doctors say this second successful case shows that Brown was not an anomaly. 

Dr. Rowena Johnston, AMFAR Vice President and Director of Research, says, “We now have reason to believe that the Berlin Patient was not a one-off case, meaning, it is possible to nearly or even completely eliminate HIV from an infected person”.

The patient in this most recent case, known as ‘London Patient,’ received the bone marrow transplant three years ago and stopped taking medication 18 months ago. 

While doctors say it’s too early to say he’s ‘cured,’ highly sensitive tests are unable to measure any amounts of HIV in his body. 

Experts warn these treatments will likely not cure all HIV patients and the procedure is expensive and risky. And, finding a match with that genetic mutation is difficult.

Johnston says, “We’re certainly optimistic that the London Patient is cured. But, because we have only one case of confirmed cure so far, AMFAR scientists are working on not only how to cure HIV but how to confirm HIV is cured. 

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