London patient is second to be cleared of HIV
A second patient has been cured of HIV.
LONDON — A case study published in the journal Nature details the successful treatment of a patient in London, who is now in long-term HIV remission.
CNN reports that a man known as the London patient has become the second person in the world to be cleared of HIV after the Berlin patient more than a decade ago.
According to the New York Times, the two men achieved the milestones after undergoing bone marrow stem cell transplants intended to treat their cancer.
In both instances, patients received stem cells from donors with a rare genetic mutation of the protein CCR5, making them HIV-resistant.
HIV typically uses the CCR5 on the surface of immune cells to enter those cells, but is unable to latch on to the mutated version of the protein.
According to the New York Times, the transplanted immune cells replaced the London patient's vulnerable cells, and destroyed the cancer without any harmful side effects.
He remained on antiretroviral drugs until stopping in September 2017. The Guardian reports that blood tests have shown no signs of the virus for the past 18 months.
Anton Pozniak, president of the International Aids Society, says the findings reaffirm the belief that AIDS is curable.
He told the Guardian that the hope is there will eventually be a safe, cost-effective, and easy way to achieve results with gene technology or antibody techniques.
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