Scientists report a 2nd person has been cured of HIV

Scientists report a 2nd person has been cured of HIV

Scientists report a 2nd person has been cured of HIV

A second person has experienced sustained remission from HIV-1, according to a case study to be published Tuesday in the journal Nature. There are now 37 million people infected with HIV, 21 million are on antiretroviral treatment, but drug-resistant strains are becoming more widespread. African pastors and traditional healers have for many years claimed that they can cure HIV and have paraded patients who claim to have been healed, a statement that has been refuted by medical practitioners. This treatment would not be appropriate to offer someone who did not have cancer.

Blood cells of an infected person are replaced by someone who is immune to HIV through a genetic mutation which stops the virus attaching to cells.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and put on antiretroviral therapy since 2012.

The decades-long HIV epidemic still persists in the United States and worldwide, with almost 39,000 new diagnoses in the country in 2017.

"However, this is a long time to be in remission off ART".

"The so-called London Patient has now been off ART for 19 months with no viral rebound which is impressive, but I would still be closely monitoring his viral load". That man, Timothy Ray Brown (known only as the "Berlin patient" at the time), received a similar bone marrow transplant which cured him of the disease.

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The kicker? Mutated CCR5 proteins are HIV-resistant and able to prevent the virus from entering cells in the immune system.

Modern antiretroviral drugs make the presence of the virus undetectable.

Scientists have tried, and repeatedly failed, to duplicate the success they had in curing Brown. He underwent the bone marrow transplant and later was declared free of HIV.

The London patient has no detectable HIV virus, Gupta and colleagues said. Such transplants are risky, and both the Berlin patient and the man in the new case, called the London patient, needed the transplants to treat cancer, rather than HIV.

Dr. Sharon Lewin, director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and a professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne, said the long remission seen in the London patient is "exciting".

Over a decade ago, a German doctor announced the first case of a patient who had been cleared of the virus.

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The London Patient suffered from Hodgkin's lymphoma and got a transplant from a donor with CCR5 mutation.

The research team was co-led by Indian origin Dr Ravindra Gupta Londoner who is a professor and HIV biologist.

AIDS researchers have known about the this CCR5 mutation for years and have tried to think of ways to exploit it as a treatment for HIV.

This could lead to a simpler approach that could be used more widely, added Jerome, who was not involved in either case.

"There are actually many strategies right now that are currently being pursued", Henrich said.

Scientists are also examining immune modifying therapies. "So while it's truly aspirational, I wouldn't say it's out of the realm of possibility". "I do have hope".

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