Second person cured of HIV? Stem cell transplant sends ‘London patient’ into long-term remission

3-6-2019 timothy brown
Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin patient," was the first person to be cured of HIV infection, more than a decade ago. Now researchers are reporting a second patient has lived 18 months after stopping HIV treatment without sign of the virus following a stem-cell transplant. Image credit: Manuel Valdes

A man has been in remission from HIV for a year and a half, without drugs, after receiving a stem cell transplant of virus-resistant cells — raising the prospect that he has become the second person to be cured of HIV infection.

The anonymous case, referred to as the “London patient” by researchers, was cautiously reported in the journal Nature as still too “premature” to be declared a cure, but is a long-awaited advance. It was scheduled to be announced [March 5] at an HIV conference in Seattle, 12 years after Timothy Ray Brown, known in medical circles as the “Berlin patient” was cured by a similar stem cell transplant.

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“I think this is really quite significant. It shows the Berlin patient was not just a one-off, that this is a rational approach in limited circumstances,” said Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “Nobody doubted the truth of the report with the Berlin patient, but it was one patient. And which of the many things that were done to him contributed to the apparent cure? It wasn’t clear this could be reproduced.”

Read full, original post: A decade after the first person was cured of HIV, a second patient is in long-term remission

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