Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Monthly Injections Could Replace the Daily Pill Regime of HIV Patients

3rd patient reportedly cured of HIV in incredible medical breakthrough Third person ever may have been cured of HIV
Celia Hoffman | 10 March, 2019, 11:12

The patient has apparently been cleared of the virus after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukaemia, scientists told a medical conference. Brown has previously spoken of how he counts the date of the first stem cell treatment-February 6, 2007-as a new birthdate of sorts, because it was on this day that, unbeknownst to his doctors at the time, he would apparently be cured of HIV.

He had received bone marrow from a donor with a mutated gene for the CCR5 protein, which is found on white blood cells.

When an HIV positive patient achieves viral suppression and has an undetectable viral load, not only do they have a significantly increased likelihood of improved health outcomes, but it also eliminates their likelihood of transmitting HIV.

In order to achieve that serendipitous "cure", Brown had to undergo aggressive treatment for his acute myeloid leukemia that involved two hematopoietic stem cell transplantations - in which a patient's bone marrow is damaged - and full body irradiation.

You may have noticed that I have repeatedly referred to this treatment as an "apparent cure" and more frequently HIV remission, and this is for a good reason. The genetic mutation of CCR5 makes the donor naturally resistant to HIV.

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After undergoing chemotherapy, he underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016 and also continued with anti-retroviral drugs for 16 months.

Both patients are registered to a research collaboration project called IciStem, according to a statement. "Meanwhile focus needs to be on diagnosing HIV patients promptly and starting them on the lifelong cART treatment to help prevent further spread of the virus and provide the opportunity for those infected to live near normal life expectancy". Scientists are describing the condition as a long-term remission, but the news has given hope for a cure. To end the global HIV epidemic, it is extremely important that there be 100 percent universal access to these important treatments - not just to those who can afford their expensive retail prices. Though their procedures were different from those the London Patient and the Berlin Patient, this demonstrates that caution is critical when we talk about this as a "cure". When HIV-infected individuals are compliant with the prescribed use of the AIDS cocktail, their viral load is undetectable and they become untransmittable, meaning they can not sexually transmit the HIV virus to others.

The patient received the bone-marrow transplant in May 2016. Most HIV uses both the CD4 and CCR5 receptor to enter a person's immune cells.

The Düsseldorf patient, who has been HIV-free for three months without antiviral medication, is in rare company as one of only three people who have successfully been cured of HIV.

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