Sci/Tech

Second HIV-Positive Person Has Been Cured Of The Life-Threatening Disease

The unidentified man was cleared of the disease only three years after stem cell treatment.

An HIV-positive man in Britain has just become the second known adult to be cleared of the deadly virus after receiving a bone marrow transplant. According to the patient’s doctors, the stem cells from an HIV-resistant donor helped in removing all traces of the HIV infection.

The anonymous patient contracted the disease in 2003 and was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma by 2012. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that he was able to access the stem cell donation. The man received the stem cells as a treatment for cancer. Amazingly, highly sensitive tests show no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection only three years after receiving stem cells from the donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists infection.

The case once again proved that stem cell treatment can help patients with the HIV virus.

Ravindra Gupta, a professor and HIV biologist who co-led a team of doctors treating the man, declared that the patient is free of the virus.

“There is no virus there that we can measure. We can’t detect anything,” Gupta said.

Professor Gupta described the patient as being “functionally cured” and “in remission”. However, the doctor also pointed out that it is “too early to say he’s cured.”

The patient asked doctors not to reveal his name, age, nationality or other details.

According to the doctors, the case is proof of the concept that scientists will be able to end AIDS one day. However, it might not mean a cure for HIV has been found just yet.

The London patient is only the second case where an HIV-positive adult was cleared of the infection. An American man named Timothy Brown, also known as the Berlin patient, underwent similar treatment in Germany in 2007, which also cleared his HIV. It is important to note that the procedure is expensive, complex, and risky.

There are currently millions of people who are infected with the life-threatening disease. Scientists are hoping that the case of the two patients will eventually lead to a cure being found.

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