Health Care

Second HIV Patient is in Remission, Cure May Be Discovered Soon

Second HIV Patient is in Remission, Cure May Be Discovered Soon”

Ten years after the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the "London patient" has shown no sign of the virus for almost 19 months, doctors reported in the journal Nature.

Gupta went on to tell the outlet that the patient was "in remission" and "functionally cured"; however, "It's too early to say he's cured" completely, said the doctor. Like the London patient, he had a bone marrow stem cell transplant to treat cancer. A conditioning regimen, which may include chemotherapy and radiation to the entire body, prepares a patient to accept a stem cell treatment, such as a bone marrow transplant, by making room for the new stem cells. The transplant destroyed the cancer without harmful side effects, while the transplanted immune cells, which are now resistant to H.I.V., seem to have fully replaced his vulnerable cells, according to the paper.

This is the second time a person has been cleared of HIV following a bone marrow transplant from a donor with this genetic mutation.

Dr. Gero Hütter, who treated the Berlin patient and is now medical director at Cellex Collection Center in Dresden, Germany, said in an email that the treatment used for the London patient is "comparable" to the one he pioneered.

The research team for the London patient will present their findings at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, Washington, later on Tuesday.

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Nearly 1 million people die annually from HIV-related causes.

Brown in 2007 was an HIV-positive man with acute myeloid leukaemia, a type of blood cancer that begins in the very cells that become the white blood cells.

Most people with the HIV-resistant mutation, called delta 32, are of Northern European descent. Worldwide, an estimated 36.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2017.

"This second documented case does reinforce the message that HIV cures are possible", says infection and immunity researcher Anthony Kelleher from UNSW in Australia, who wasn't involved with the study.

But it in the past 18 months he was taken off the extra drugs and regular testing confirmed his viral load is now undetectable.

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The first person said to have beaten HIV, Timothy Brown from Berlin, received the same treatment 10 years ago.

Pozniak was commenting in the aftermath of the news that a London patient appears to have been cured of HIV after a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a special genetic mutation.

When it comes to the search for an HIV cure, in some ways the urgency has gone. But such transplants are risky, can not be used widely and have failed in other patients.

But rearming the body with immune cells similarly modified to resist HIV might well succeed as a practical treatment, experts said.

"I think this does change the game a little bit", Gupta opined to NYT of the new patient, who had less invasive treatment than Brown.

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"There is no virus there that we can measure". Numerous attempts to replicate the procedure have not been successful until now, with the latest case dubbed that of the "London patient".



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