Doctors believe they have found a cure for an HIV-positive man who has been living with the virus since the 1980s. An immune-compromised donor was found and used to treat his leukemia by donating bone marrow.
According to sources who do not wish to be named, the 66-year-old woman has stopped using her HIV medicine. He expressed his gratitude for the virus no longer being present in his body, saying he was “beyond grateful.”
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In honor of the Duarte, California, hospital where he received treatment, the guy is referred to as the “City of Hope” patient. In the pre-antiretroviral era, many of his acquaintances succumbed to HIV, and he was one of them.
It was a day that I never imagined I’d live to see. Damage to the immune system is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Because of this, the body may have difficulty fighting off infection and develop Aids (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
A statement from the guy read: “Like many others, I believed my diagnosis of HIV in 1988 to be a death sentence. When I was diagnosed with HIV, I didn’t think I would survive long enough to see the day when I was no longer infected.
He received the treatment, however, not because he had HIV, but because at the age of 63, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a blood cancer. To save the man’s life, his doctors decided he needed a bone marrow transplant. The donor, by chance, had a high level of HIV resistance.
A protein known as CCR5 serves as a tiny doorway via which the virus enters our white blood cells. CCR5 mutations prevent HIV infection in some persons, including the donor. Getting better is still considered the ‘Holy Grail.’
After the transplant, the City of Hope patient was continuously followed, and his body’s HIV levels were undetectable. For the past 17 months, he has been in remission.
City of Hope infectious diseases physician Dr Jana Dickter said, “We were happy to let him learn that his HIV is in remission and he no longer requires the antiretroviral medicine that he had been on for over 30 years.”
Timothy Ray Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient,” was the first person on the planet to be successfully cured of HIV in 2011. In the last three years, there have been three comparable incidents. The City of Hope patient is the oldest and longest-lived patient to get this type of treatment.
The 38 million persons currently infected with HIV will not benefit from bone marrow transplants. It’s a complicated surgery with a lot of potential negative effects, as Dr. Dickter explained to me.”. As a result, it’s not a viable option for the majority of HIV-positive patients.
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Genetically modifying a patient’s immune system to block the CCR5 doorway could be a treatment option under consideration. An HIV/AIDS conference in Montreal, Canada was when the case was first made public, according to a statement.
“A cure remains the Holy Grail of HIV research,” said Sharon Lewin, leader of the International Aids Society. They gave “continuing hope for those living with HIV, and motivation for the scientific community” because there had only been a “handful of individual cure instances” before.