Two More Patients Possibly Cured Of HIV From Stem Cell Transplants
Potential third and fourth patients cured of HIV were announced this week at the International AIDS Society Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Like the world-famous first two humans to be cured of the disease, patients three and four experienced recovery after receiving a stem cell transplant.
One of the men received stem-cell transplants to replace his blood-cell-producing bone marrow about three years ago, and the other five years ago. Their regimens were similar to one used on Timothy Ray Brown, the 'Berlin patient' who has been living HIV-free for six years and is the only adult to have been declared cured of HIV. Last July, doctors announced that the two men — the ‘Boston patients’ — appeared to be living without detectable levels of HIV in their blood, but they were still taking antiretroviral medications at that time.
Timothy Henrich, an HIV specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, who helped to treat the men, says that they have now stopped their antiretroviral treatments with no ill effects. One has been off medication for 15 weeks and the other for seven. Neither has any trace of HIV DNA or RNA in his blood, Henrich says.
Brown, mentioned above, and a Mississippi baby who received early antiretroviral treatment are so far the only two humans recognized in the medical community as being cured of HIV.