Second man seems to be free of AIDS virus after transplant

An Indian nurse carries out a test for HIV  AIDS
An Indian nurse carries out a test for HIV AIDS during an event to mark International Condom Day in New Delhi on Feb. 13 2018
Author

06 March, 2019

Both patients received stem cell transplants from donors carrying a genetic mutation that prevents expression of an HIV receptor, known as CCR5. The donor - who was unrelated - had a genetic mutation known as CCR5 delta 32, which confers resistance to HIV.

Ten years after the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the "London patient" has shown no sign of the virus for almost 19 months, they reported in the journal Nature.

The researchers caution that it's too soon to say for sure if the man has been definitively cured of HIV.

Fauci sees the report of the London patient as being less about the possible benefits of bone marrow transplants in treating or even curing HIV, and more about the need to focus HIV research on CCR5.

A man known only as the "London patient" appeared to be cured of H.I.V.

None of this guarantees that the London patient is forever out of the woods, but the similarities to Brown's recovery offer reason for optimism, Gupta said.

The benefits of this treatment outweigh the risk for cancer patients, which is where it is most commonly used.

A man in the United Kingdom may be the second person ever to be cured of HIV. CCR5 is also the gene that Chinese researcher He Jiankui tweaked in embryos to give them a genetically-engineered resistance to HIV infection throughout their lifetimes. Finding ways to treat people infected with HIV with some infusions of mutated CCR5 cells that block infection seems to make more sense now. He will continue to monitor the man's condition, as it is still too early to say, officially, that he has been cured of HIV.

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Brown said he would like to meet the London patient and would encourage him to go public because "it's been very useful for science and for giving hope to HIV-positive people, to people living with HIV", he told The Associated Press Monday.

In the only other known case, Timothy Ray Brown of the US became HIV-free after a stem cell transplant in Germany 12 years ago and is still free of the virus.

"It's not a practical solution" for people who don't have diseases that require a stem-cell transplant, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health arm that leads HIV research, according to WSJ.

A new report surfaced saying a man who is HIV positive is now remission after receiving a bone-marrow transplant.

He had Lodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer that begins in lymphocytes-the white blood cells that help fight off disease.

"There is no virus there that we can measure".

There has been only one documented case of HIV, which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), being cured. Numerous attempts to replicate the procedure have not been successful until now, with the latest case dubbed that of the "London patient".

Although the London patient was not as ill as Brown had been after the transplant, the procedure worked about as well: The transplant destroyed the cancer without harmful side effects.


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