London patient might be second to be cured of HIV

London patient might be second to be cured of HIV

London patient might be second to be cured of HIV

Nearly three years on, and more than 18 months after coming off antiretroviral drugs, highly sensitive tests show no signs of the man's previous HIV infection. Both Brown and the London patient received cancer-related bone marrow transplants from donors with a mutation in the CCR5 protein.

Reacting to the case of the patient in London who had no sign of the virus for almost 19 months after undergoing a bone marrow transplant, the group said it demonstrated "proof of concept that HIV is curable".

Speaking to Reuters, Gupta clarified that it is still too early to say that the man is actually permanently virus-free, but that he is "functionally cured" and "in remission." . Originally, the aim was to treat cancer-the patient was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012-rather than HIV. After standard treatments failed, they gave the patient a stem-cell transplant - essentially killing off his old immune system and giving him a new one. The new findings were published online Monday by the journal Nature.

Using bone marrow transplants to cure HIV in everyone who has the virus, though, remains impractical, expensive, and risky.

For the London patient, Gupta and his team also found a donor who had these mutations in CCR5.

Researchers from University College London announced the finding at the annual conference of retroviruses and opportunistic infections (CROI) ongoing in Seattle, USA this week.

CCR5 was the target in the genome of the controversial gene-edited twins born previous year in China, whose father is HIV-positive.

CCR5 is the most commonly used receptor by HIV-1 - the virus strain of HIV that dominates around the world - to enter cells. Exact match donors would have to be found in the tiny proportion of people - majority of northern European descent - who have the CCR5 mutation.

Both men received stem cells from donors with this mutation.

Experts have also warned that the treatment carried out is not practical or healthy for people living with HIV, reports the BBC, but could ultimately help to find a cure.

Doctors in London say they have apparently eradicated HIV from a patient's body.

The London patient has no detectable HIV virus, Gupta and colleagues said.

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.

Pozniak was commenting in the aftermath of the news that a London patient appears to have been cured of HIV after a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a special genetic mutation.

Such transplants are unsafe and have failed in other patients.

"I think this does change the game a little bit", Gupta opined to NYT of the new patient, who had less invasive treatment than Brown.

"We continue to monitor his condition; however, the apparent success of this treatment injects new hope in the search for a long-awaited cure for HIV/Aids".

While some commentators are calling this a "cure" for HIV, the scientists who performed the experiment say it's too soon to say that.

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