Health: Third Person Possibly Made HIV-Free
Image credit: PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay
Right on the heels of the news out of London of a British patient experiencing HIV remission is new of a similar case happening in Germany. According to the New Scientist, a possible third case was announced at the Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections held in Seattle.
Known only as the “Düsseldorf patient,” the man has shown no signs of infectious HIV even after spending three months not taking antiviral drugs. Just like the Berlin and London patients, the Düsseldorf patient underwent a treatment that replaced his bone marrow with cells from a donor that had a CCR5 gene mutation.
Other people who have HIV and who have also had a bone marrow transplant from a person with a CCR5 mutation are all being tracked by researches in a collaboration called IciStem. According to Javier Martinez-Picado of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, there are two other people who have undergone the transplant but are still taking antiviral medications.
While these results are impressive, scientists are quick to point out that this method only works for people with HIV and cancer, since the procedure is incredibly risky and is only used as a last resort.
This is certainly positive news, as according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) report on the HIV infection trend in the US by race/ethnicity and age, “progress in HIV prevention has stalled.”
According to the CDC, an increase of 30 percent in HIV infections was seen among Latino gay and bisexual men. There is also an increase of about 65 percent in HIV infections among both black and Latino gay and bisexual males ages 25 to 34.
Adam4Adam readers, does this new development give you optimism when it comes to finding a cure for HIV? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.