It’s perhaps only the second time that a patient has been reportedly cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, reports The New York Times. The HIV AIDS epidemic hit the human population in the early 80s and has taken millions of lives.
The first patient who was reported to have been cured of the virus was nearly 12 years ago. For years researchers tried to duplicate the treatment but failed. Now there could be hope. NYT reports that the research will be published in the journal Nature today.
The breakthrough has come via bone marrow transplants that were meant to cure cancer in the patients, not the HIV virus. While transplant is not the ideal option for HIV patients, it does offer hope in terms of where the researchers can take this.
What Antiretroviral Therapy offers drugs that have made it possible for HIV patients to live a long life, a cure is still elusive.
The anonymous patient simply goes with the moniker ‘London Patient.’ Timothy Ray Brown was the first patient to have been cured of both cancer and HIV. He received transplant from a donor with a mutation in a protein called CCR5.
The ‘London patient’ had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and also received the same CCR5 mutation in May 2016. he has stopped taking ART drugs since 2017 and is HIV free.