Doctors are claiming that they now have a cure for HIV, a disease that devastated humanity for nearly 30 years.
A London man infected with HIV was cured of the disease, researchers reported Monday. He is the second man to be cured by HIV, using stem cell treatments.
The patient received a stem-cell transplant from a donor who was genetically resistant to HIV. That transplant happened three years ago, and extensive testing shows that he has no detectable amounts of the virus, even without taking medication.
The research, which published in the journal Nature, says that the man was off antiretroviral drugs for 20 months. “He’s doing well,” said Ravindra Gupta, HIV researcher at University College London who led the study.
If the man, whose name the research team didn’t disclose, continues to remain free of the virus, he would become only the second patient to be cured of HIV.
According to the NYTimes, "The new patient has chosen to remain anonymous, and the scientists referred to him only as the “London patient.”
“I feel a sense of responsibility to help the doctors understand how it happened so they can develop the science,” he told The New York Times in an email.
Learning that he could be cured of both cancer and H.I.V. infection was “surreal” and “overwhelming,” he added. “I never thought that there would be a cure during my lifetime.”
The first, Timothy Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient,” was cured about a decade ago, following a stem-cell transplant.
“This will inspire people that cure is not a dream,” said Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a virologist at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. “It’s reachable.”