Twelve years ago, Timothy Ray Brown was the first person ever to be cured of HIV. This has now been achieved a second time!
A study published in the scientific journal Nature announced that a patient from London has been cured of the virus after being diagnosed with HIV sixteen years ago. The patient underwent a stem cell treatment. A stem cell transplant should not be taken lightly: it is a heavy procedure that comes with life-threatening risks.
The patient received his HIV diagnosis in 2003 and was diagnosed with cancer years later. As treatment, he underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016. The doctors transplanted stem cells from a donor that contain a rare natural resistance against the HIV virus. This changed his immune system and he became resistant against the virus.
After his treatment, the patient stopped taking HIV inhibitors. 18 months later, the patient was cancer free and there was no trace of the virus in his blood. Normally, when someone stops taking HIV inhibitors, the virus becomes detectable again in his/her blood after several weeks. The patient follows Timothy Ray Brown, who in 2007 underwent a stem cell transplant from an HIV-resistant donor. Between Brown and the patient from London, several attempt were made to replicate the treatment. These were unsuccessful however.