Research for HIV cure

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Research for HIV cure


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Tests on London patient offer hope of HIV ‘cure’
Man becomes second person in world to be cleared of virus after stem cell donation

Sarah Boseley
Tue 5 Mar 2019 00.03 GMT Last modified on Tue 5 Mar 2019 14.54 GMT

A London patient with HIV has become the second person ever to be free of the virus after a bone marrow transplant, raising hopes of a cure for Aids.

More than a decade ago, Timothy Brown, the so-called Berlin patient who later went public, made history as the first person to be “cured” of HIV. Like the London patient, he had a bone marrow stem cell transplant to treat cancer.

He and the London patient, who does not want to disclose his identity, received stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation of the CCR5 gene, making them HIV-resistant. Brown came off the antiretroviral drugs that suppress HIV and has been virus-free ever since. Scientists now consider him cured. The London patient stopped taking the medication 18 months ago and there is no sign of a return of HIV.

The procedure in itself can never be offered as a cure for HIV infection because stem cell transplants carry risks. People with HIV can stay fit and well with a normal lifespan by taking a daily pill.

But the announcement, said Anton Pozniak, the president of the International Aids Society, marks a critical moment in the hunt for a cure. ... aids-virus

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