London patient may be second person to be cured of HIV

London patient may be second person to be cured of HIV

London patient may be second person to be cured of HIV

At the conference in Seattle, Dr. Andrea Cox, an immunologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the British patient's story is an outstanding example of the potential for a cure.

Timothy Ray Brown, known as the "Berlin Patient" and the first person to have been cured of AIDS. Until now, success in replicating that cure has been limited.

Usually, HIV patients expect to stay on daily pills for life to suppress the virus. Since the virus was first discovered in the 1980s, more than 75 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV. In the same year, nearly 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses and 21.7 million people had access to treatment.

About 1.5 million Kenyans are living with HIV/Aids as per 2015 estimates. Two factors are likely at play - the new bone marrow is resistant to HIV and also the new bone marrow is actively eliminating any HIV-infected cells through something called graft versus host disease.

Scientific investigation into the world's second man cleared of the AIDS virus is zooming in on a gene and a treatment side-effect, as newly-enthused researchers strive to find a cure for the disease that has killed millions.

An unnamed man in London could be the second person in history to be ever cured of HIV infection, offering hope that HIV and AIDS are curable. There have been other attempts to discontinue anti-retroviral therapy for HIV-positive bone marrow transplant recipients, but in these cases the patient's virus has come back.

This complex treatment involves destroying a person's own immune system with high doses of chemotherapy or radiation.

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A genetic mutation in a stem cell transplant may have been the key.

This is a hard treatment that carries a high risk of infection and other complications, such as graft-versus-host disease, blood clots and liver disease.

Both the London and Berlin patients received stem cell transplants from donors carrying a genetic mutation that prevents expression of an HIV receptor, known as CCR5. About 1 p.c of individuals descended from northern Europeans have inherited the mutation from each mother and father and are proof against most HIV.

It's thought to be a landmark moment in the quest of a widespread cure, which could pave the way for future therapies and studies. After receiving treatment, both patients were eventually taken off their anti-retroviral medications and subsequent examination showed that that even with very sensitive blood tests, the team could not detect HIV in their blood. "But adding this piece where the cells are resistant to the patient's strain of HIV really makes the difference to go the whole hundred yards". Lower left panel shows the target for HIV, the CD4+ T-cell. Most people who develop AIDS are ravaged by the disease and die. "They would ideally try to take these mutated proteins, CCR5s, and inject them into people with HIV with the hopes that once they have this mutated CCR5 their HIV won't be able to attach to the immune cells anymore".

The AIDS virus uses CCR5 to enter cells, but if the gene is mutated, HIV can not latch onto cells and infect them. Neither should anyone else. He is reported to have been in remission from HIV for the past 18 months.

This new case in London also used a stem cell transplant. "This case is as important as it is exciting". In 2016, there were 6,160 deaths attributed to HIV in the US.

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