For the second time, scientists say they've found an HIV-infected patient who appears to have been cured of the disease, raising hopes for the possibility of curing many more people.
This is an example of what I'm talking about
After receiving a stem-cell transplant that replaced their white blood cells with HIV-resistant ones, another person with HIV appears to be free of the virus. Using this method, the patient is only the second person known to have been successfully cured of the virus so far.
Adam Castillejo, a 40-year-old Hodgkin lymphoma patient, received a bone marrow transplant in London. Similar to Berlin's first reported case of this nature. He was treated with total body radiotherapy and two stem cell transplants from a donor who had the abnormal CCR5 gene, which confers resistance to HIV on Timothy Ray Brown's stem cells.
Any remaining virus in Brown's body was killed by chemotherapy as well. A stem cell transplant and chemotherapy were used in Castillejo's treatment, but he did not receive total body irradiation.
In an interview with BBC News, the lead researcher, Prof Ravindra Kumar Gupta, said, "This represents HIV cure with almost certainty."
Stem cell transplantation has been a success.
After the Adam Castillejo transplant, doctors confirmed that the HIV viral load was still undetectable in blood samples 30 months after he stopped taking antiretroviral therapy.
In other words, any traces of the virus's genetic material that may still be present in the system are "fossil traces," which means that they cannot be used to replicate the virus again.
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