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Third person cured of HIV after stem cell transplant, researchers say

Researchers have revealed that a stem cell transplant saved a man with HIV.

The 53-year-old patient is the third to have the condition cured by the treatment.

He is the fifth person to be cured in all.

He has not relapsed since he stopped taking anti-retroviral medication or suppressants for the past four years.


The man in Dusseldorf had the stem cell transplant similar to two other transplant patients, one in Berlin, and another in London. He had the transplant to treat leukaemia. This was a blood disorder that he had along with his HIV infection.

He is now in good health, more than ten years after his transplant and four years after he stopped receiving HIV treatment.

“I remember well the words of my family doctor, “Don’t take it too hard.” He said that we would all experience together the cure for HIV.

“I dismissed the statement at the time as an alibi. Today, I am prouder of the worldwide team of doctors that helped me recover from HIV and, of course, leukaemia.

“On Valentine’s Day, I celebrated the 10th year of my bone-marrow transplant in a huge way. As a guest of honor, my bone marrow donor was also present.

Researchers claim that the virus has not returned after thorough scientific and therapeutic preparations and monitoring. They also add that this study is the longest and most accurate diagnostic monitoring of a patient after stem cell transplantation.

Transplants are performed to remove any unhealthy blood cells and replace them with healthy ones. They are not recommended for patients suffering from other life-threatening conditions.

Led by medical staff at Dusseldorf University Hospital and a team of doctors, the team hopes that their findings will lead to more research into HIV cures.

Experts suggest that research should be carried out to aid HIV patients in overcoming their infections.

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Six months after starting HIV therapy, the Dusseldorf patient was diagnosed as having acute myeloidleukaemia (AML), which is a life-threatening form of blood cancer. He underwent stem cell transplantation in 2013.

After constant monitoring by doctors in 2018, the anti-viral HIV treatment – which had made sure that any residual HIV was under control up until then – was stopped.

Dr Bjorn Erik Ole Jensen spoke on behalf of the international team. He stated: “Following intensive research, it is now possible to prevent HIV replication on a sustained basis by combining two key techniques.

“One hand we have the massive depletion in virus reservoirs in long-lived immuno cells and the transfer of HIV resistance to the recipient immune system, which ensures that the virus cannot spread again.

“Further research is needed to determine how this can be done outside of the limited set of conditions we have defined.”

Nature Medicine journal published the study.

In the recent past, , a Californian man, has been cured HIV from his diagnosis in 1988. Timothy Ray Brown, also known as The Berlin Patient, was cured in 2007, but died later from cancer.


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