A HIV-positive man in Britain has turned into the second known grown-up
worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS infection after he got a bone marrow transplant from a HIV safe giver, his specialists said.
Almost three years after receiving bone marrow stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV infection and more than 18 months after coming off antiretroviral drugs - highly sensitive tests still show no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection.
“There is no virus there that we can measure. We can’t detect anything,” said Ravindra Gupta, a professor and HIV biologist who co-led a team of doctors treating the man.
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.
Gupta described his patient as “functionally cured” and “in remission”, but cautioned: “It’s too early to say he’s cured. ”
The man is being called “the London patient”, in part because his case is similar to the first known case of a functional cure of HIV - in an American man, Timothy Brown, who became known as the
Berlin patient when he underwent similar treatment in Germany in 2007 which also cleared his HIV.
Brown, who had been living in Berlin, has since moved to the United States and, according to HIV experts, is still HIV-free.
Some 37 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV and the AIDS pandemic has killed around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s.