A 22-year-old HIV survivor cured? How did it end?



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By BBC News Tamil


Updated: Friday, July 29, 2022, 22:05 [IST]


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A man with HIV since the 1980s appears to have recovered, doctors say. They report that he is the fourth person to recover from the disease.

He underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia, a blood cancer from someone who naturally resisted the virus.

The 66-year-old, who did not want to be identified, has stopped taking HIV medication.

He says he is very grateful that the virus is no longer detectable in his body.

The man is known as a ‘City of Hope’ patient after the hospital where he was treated in Duarte, California.

Many of his friends died of HIV before antiretroviral drugs gave people a normal lifespan.

“Didn’t expect a day like this to come”

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) damages the body’s immune system. This leads to AIDS (a disease caused by immune deficiency) and the body’s inability to fight infection.

In a statement, the man said: “When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, like many people, I thought it was a death sentence.

“I never thought I would see the day when I would no longer have HIV.”

But, he was treated not for his HIV disease. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 63 and was cured after undergoing treatment.

The man’s medical team decided he needed a bone marrow transplant to replace his cancerous blood cells. Coincidentally, his ‘donor’ was HIV-positive. Resistant to virus

The virus enters our body’s white blood cells using a very subtle pathway through a protein called CCR5.

However, this CCR5 antibody is normal in some people, including the one who helped her with bone marrow surgery. They prevent HIV from ovulating.

Human immunodeficiency virus

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Human immunodeficiency virus

Is there a change?

The ‘City of Hope patient’ was closely monitored after the transplant. And no levels of HIV were detected in his body.

He has been on hiatus for over 17 months now.

We were happy to let him know that he had recovered from HIV. And he no longer has to take the antiretroviral therapy he’s been on for more than 30 years,” said Dr. Jana Dichter, an infectious disease physician at City of Hope.

In 2011, Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the Berlin Patient, became the first person in the world to be cured of HIV.

There have been three such persons in the last three years. The ‘City of Hope’ patient is the oldest patient to receive such treatment and has lived with HIV for the longest time.

But bone marrow transplants are not going to change the way HIV is treated for the 38 million people in the world who are currently infected.

Dr. Dichter told me: “It’s a complicated procedure with significant potential side effects, so it’s not really an appropriate option for most people living with HIV.”

“However, researchers are exploring ways to target the CCR5 pathway using gene therapy as a potential therapy.

His treatment was announced at the AIDS 2022 conference in Montreal, Canada.

Professor Sharon Levin, president-elect of the International AIDS Society, said there had been ‘a handful of private cures before this’ and they provided ‘continuing hope for people living with HIV and inspiration for the scientific community’.


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HIV victim recovered after 22 years, and how is that possible

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