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HIV cure: London patient recovers from sex disease in major breakthrough

HIV cure: London patient recovers from sex disease in major breakthrough

In 2016, doctors were able to successfully track down a donor with a rare genetic mutation - known as CCR5 delta 32 - which makes him resistant to HIV.

"If we can understand better why the procedure works in some patients and not others, we will be closer to our ultimate goal of curing HIV", said Cooke, who was not involved in the case study.

The London patient, who was being treated for cancer, has now been in remission from HIV for 18 months and is no longer taking HIV drugs.

The London-based patient becomes the second individual ever to be seemingly cured of HIV over a decade after the first: Timothy Ray Brown, AKA the "Berlin patient," who nearly died after his treatment, according to The New York Times. Bone marrow from a similarly CCR5 negative donor was given to the "London Patient".

Also, the newly-transplanted cells were resistant to the virus.

The man, who was not identified, was diagnosed with HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - in 2003, according to the findings published by the journal Nature. "The Berlin patient" had undergone a similar treatment in Germany in 2007 which cleared his HIV and continues to be HIV free.

The man, known as the "London patient" was being treated for advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma-a type of cancer that affects the blood.

But a reservoir of cells carrying HIV can still remain in the body, in a resting state, for many years.

A man in the United Kingdom may be the second person ever to be cured of HIV. Luckily for him, his donor had a mutation in a gene called CCR5, which is linked with some people having a natural resistance to HIV. The team also found that his white blood cells now can not be infected with CCR5-dependent HIV strains, indicating the donor's cells had engrafted.




In their latest small study, presented at CROI, Tebas's team showed that in 15 patients who received this therapy and then stopped ARVs, HIV did rebound, but a few weeks slower than it does in people without such transplants.

He's being the only one thought to have been cured of HIV.

The London patient has no detectable HIV virus, Gupta and colleagues said.

Possibly. The London patient's immune system is now created to block HIV's most common path into cells, using the CCR5 receptor. These efforts include editing the CCR5 gene in HIV-positive people and giving the genetically edited cells back to them.

He added: "There is no virus there that we can measure".

16 months after the stem-cell transplant, September 2017, the man went off his antiretroviral drugs for HIV. "Everybody believed after the Berlin patient that you needed to almost die basically to cure HIV, but now maybe you don't".

The breakthrough has come via bone marrow transplants that were meant to cure cancer in the patients, not the HIV virus.

"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.

"Although it is not a viable large-scale strategy for a cure ... these new findings reaffirm our belief that there exists a proof of concept that HIV is curable", Anton Pozniak, the president of the International Aids Society, told The Guardian.

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