Twelve years after the first successful medical cure HIV/AIDS was recorded in Germany, scientists have yet again succeeded to replicate the procedure and cure another AIDS patient cure. An unidentified man has apparently been cured of the virus in London, UK, becoming the second such success story after Timothy Ray Brown (The Berlin Patient) was cured in 2007.
Like the first case, the new successful cure case has also been rather accidental, as doctors were yet again treating the patient for cancer when they realized they had cured HIV too.
The unidentified cured Londoner was diagnosed with HIV in 2003. He developed cancer some years ago and agreed to a stem cell transplant to treat the cancer in 2016.
His doctors found a donor with a gene mutation that confers natural resistance to HIV. The transplant changed the London patient’s immune system, giving him the donor’s HIV resistance.
But amidst the excitement of the successful treatment, scientists have warned that such transplants can’t be seen as a future option for curing HIV, because they aren’t only expensive and complicated, but are dangerous and have failed in other patients. Many scientists have called the cure just a long-term remission. There are also harsh side effects as a result of the transplant, which last for years.
However, yet, the medical world on another side has welcomed the miraculous treatment as yet another confirmation that a cure can ultimately be found for HIV. Some experts have said that equipping the body with immune cells similarly improved to resist H.I.V. might well succeed as a practical treatment.
“This will inspire people that cure is not a dream,” said Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a virologist at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. “It’s reachable.” However, strong drugs are available to sustain the patients and control the H.I.V infection.
The scientists that successfully carried out the treatment are yet to publish their report in the journal Nature. They will also be presenting details at a conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.