HIV Eliminated By Bone Marrow Transplant In Cancer Patient : Shots

London patient second in world to be cleared of Aids virus – researchers

London HIV Patient World's Second To Be Cleared Of AIDS Virus: Doctors

The milestone came about three years after the man received bone marrow stem cells from an HIV-resistant donor and about a year and a half after coming off antiretroviral drugs.

The male patient has achieved "sustained remission" from HIV after being treated at Hammersmith Hospital in west London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said.

Gupta said the London patient was "functionally cured" and is in remission, but said it was too early to officially say he is cured.

After HIV-resistant cells from the transplant replaced the men's vulnerable cells, both men stopped taking the ARV therapy that had been suppressing their infections. "I think so." He says he believes that some HIV still remains in the London patient's body, but that because his immune system is now impervious to the virus, the HIV is marooned - like a castaway on a remote island who can not swim.

"Finding a way to eliminate the virus entirely is an urgent global priority, but is particularly hard because the virus integrates into the white blood cells of its host".

Although Brown almost died after he was given strong immunosuppressive drugs and was put into a coma, the "London patient" did not come that close; he suffered from Hodgkin's lymphoma and received a similar bone-marrow transplant to Brown's, but the immunosuppressive drugs he received were gentler.

AIDS researchers have known about the this CCR5 mutation for years and have tried to think of ways to exploit it as a treatment for HIV. But HIV drugs have become so effective that many people carrying this infection have a normal lifespan if they take these medications for a lifetime.

The transplant was relatively uncomplicated, but with some side effects including mild graft-versus-host disease, a complication of transplants wherein the donor immune cells attack the recipient's immune cells. This gene is the one that codes for the cell-surface receptor many HIV strains use to infect cells.

AIDS-Cure Research
Timothy Ray Brown known as the ‘Berlin Patient, was the first person to be cured of HIV infection

That means the London patient may have HIV remaining that can use CXCR4 to infect cells, giving the virus a way to start flourishing again.

The donor, researchers noted, possessed 2 mutated copies of the CCR5 allele - similar to the donor in the first case of HIV remission.

Regular testing has confirmed that the patient's viral load remained undetectable since then.

The London patient, whose case will be reported in the journal Nature and presented at a medical conference in Seattle on Tuesday, has asked his medical team not to reveal his name, age, nationality or other details.

Timothy Brown, the "Berlin patient," was given two transplants and underwent total body irradiation to treat leukemia, while the British patient received just one transplant and less intensive chemotherapy.

An HIV-positive man in the United Kingdom has officially become the second person in the world to be cleared of the Aids virus.

The case report is carried out by researchers at University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London, together with teams at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. HIV-1 remission following CCR5Δ32/Δ32 haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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