🇬🇧

UK HIV patient becomes world's second AIDS cure hope

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 02:21s

UK HIV patient becomes world's second AIDS cure hope

An HIV-positive man in Britain has become the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone-marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor, his doctors said.

Mia Womersley reports

Advertisement

UK HIV patient becomes world's second AIDS cure hope

About 37 million people are currently infected with HIV across the globe.

The AIDS pandemic has killed around 35 million people since the 1980s.

Now a British HIV-positive man has become the second known adult in the world to be cleared of the AIDS virus.

He's being called "the London patient".

Reuters Kate Kelland has been following the story.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS HEALTH CORRESPONDENT, KATE KELLAND , SAYING: "This man was living with HIV, he also developed Hodgkins Lymphoma which is a type of blood cancer.

He became very sick and three years ago doctors decided to try a last ditch attempt to save his life.

And they offered him a bone marrow transplant with stem cells from an HIV resistant donor.

So the donor's cells had a particular genetic mutation known as CCR5.

This is a very rare mutation, it is usually only found in people of northern European decent, but it is very rare and it makes his cells resistant to the virus that causes AIDS.

This is very significant.

The Internation Aids Society has decribed this as a critical moment in the search for a cure.

The "London patient" is the second person ever, worldwide, to achieve remission from HIV on an extended basis and it does mean that this is a proof of concept that a cure for AIDS can be found." The first known case of a functional cure of HIV was in an American man, Timothy Brown.

He became known as the 'Berlin patient' when he underwent similar treatment in Germany in 2007.

The "London patient's" doctors said this second case is extremely positive.

But were quick to point out that it is not a cure for all.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS HEALTH CORRESPONDENT, KATE KELLAND, SAYING: "This can't be done on a large scale.

Bone-marrow stem-cell transplants are very complicated, they are very expensive and they are very risky.

In effect they can kill you if they go wrong.

So this isn't translatable to a wide population of people.

What it does mean though is that scientists can explore this avenue, this genetic mutation, and focus on that as a potential cure in the future." Scientific research has led to drug combinations that can keep the complex virus at bay in most patients.

This latest triumph may not be the final solution.

But medics hope they will be able to use these findings to explore potential new treatment strategies.

You are here

Recent related videos from verified sources

Is a cure for HIV on the horizon? 01:02
Credit: Zoom.in STUDIO - Published 2 weeks ago 

London patient may be second in the world to be cured of HIV 01:07
Credit: Reuters - 3D Animations (Next Me - Published 2 weeks ago 

London patient is second to be cleared of HIV 01:32
Credit: TomoNews US - Published 2 weeks ago 

A Miracle Cure From Stem Cell Transplant 01:12
Credit: Celebrity Wire - Published 2 weeks ago 

You might like