Earlier this week it was reported that a second man had been ‘cured’ from HIV after a stem cell transplant done in 2016. This medical development is considered to be a long-term remission after the patient, a man from London, has been living HIV free without medications for the last 18 months.
The first successful case of this came from Timothy Ray Brown, an American man who has been living HIV free for 12 years after having undergone a transplant.
And now, a new report from New Scientist is claiming a potential third man could be considered as being HIV free after a bone marrow transplant. The patient, known as “Düsseldorf patient”, is showing no signs of HIV after three months off antiviral drugs. The case was reported at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
This is fantastic news in HIV/AIDS research and the best part is that it has been reported that a fourth and fifth person are also being tracked after having had a bone marrow transplant. They have not yet stopped taking antiviral medications, but after stopping they will be able to continue measuring the success of their transplants. These two studies come from IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona.
Successful transplants can occur when a perfect donor has a gene mutation with natural resistance to HIV called CCR5. Transplants can only be used for those living with HIV who have cancer because of the potential risks and highly difficult procedures. Still, these factors can point researchers into the right direction toward other options.
h/t: New Scientist