Third person ever may have been cured of HIV

3rd patient reportedly cured of HIV in incredible medical breakthrough

In reality, existing prescription therapies using three HIV drugs, commonly referred to as the AIDS cocktail, are far less risky, less expensive and work much more effectively, even though they are not a cure and must be taken daily for a patient's life. In the case of both Brown and now the London patient, the new blood cells transplanted into them were from donors who had two copies of a gene mutation for the CCR5 receptor.

Given recent disappointments after hematopoietic stem cell transplantations in people living with HIV, the team reporting on remission of the London patient does not describe their patient as cured.

This week a team of scientists and physicians from the United Kingdom published news of a second HIV positive man, in London, who is in long-term (18-month) HIV remission after undergoing treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma. The Düsseldorf patient has been announced at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.

The transplant changed the patient's immune system, giving him the donor's HIV resistance.

Condoms remain the most widely available and low-priced form of HIV prevention.

The London Patient underwent stem cell treatment as part of a wider treatment regiment for advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma, which was diagnosed in 2012.

An HIV-positive man in Britain has become the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor, his doctors said. The genetic mutation of CCR5 makes the donor naturally resistant to HIV.

Stem cell transplants or bone marrow transplants are painful, costly and time consuming-and there are several ways in which such transplants go wrong.

3rd patient reportedly cured of HIV in incredible medical breakthrough
Stem cell transplants: Researchers report on the second case of a “cured” HIV patient

The case is a proof of the concept that scientists will one day be able to end AIDS, the doctors said, but does not mean a cure for HIV has been found. It also suggests that this is a promising avenue to pursue in our quest for a long-term HIV cure. Testing by HIV scientists and doctors show that the infected man now has no signs of the virus in his blood. HIV has become a chronic condition in which progression to AIDS is increasingly rare.

"The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks and weakens the immune system, reducing its ability to fight diseases or infections", Girish Badarkhe, Haematologist at HCG Cancer Centre, Bengaluru, told IANS. The treatment is very intense and is not considered appropriate for most people living with HIV.

CCR5 receptor is most commonly used by the HIV-1 virus to enter cells.

At the same time we reach for a cure-which still seems a long way off-we can focus on making sure everyone gets tested for HIV regularly, takes PrEP if they are at high risk, or gets antiretroviral drugs if they have HIV.

Most importantly, the HIV community learned that Brown's case was not unique.

He did not experience HIV rebound, during the 18 months he did not take anti-viral medication. The patient must then be monitored to insure that his or her HIV does not come roaring back.

While it proved to be successful for the Berlin, London, and Düsseldorf patients, the strategy used for these cases are not the way to eradicate HIV on a large scale.

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