London patient has become the second known man to be cleared of AIDS virus after receiving a bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor.
According to doctors the man shown no trace of previous HIV infection since he underwent the transplant operation three years ago just like the first known patient to be functionally cured of HIV Timothy Brown who also underwent similar treatment in Germany in 2007.
The doctor, Ravindra Gupta, is a professor and HIV biologist who co-led a team of doctors treating the man.
However, Gupta described his patient as “functionally cured’’ and “in remission,’’ rather than “cured adding its too early to say he’s cured”.
According to reports both patients received bone marrow stem cells from donors with a rare genetic mutation known as “CCR5 delta 32,” which confers resistance to HIV also stating that between Brown and the new London patient, there were several attempts made to cure other AIDS patients using the same method, but failed in all of them.
Gupta said the method used is not appropriate for all patients but offers hope for new treatment strategies.
According to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, as of 2017, there were approximately 36.9 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, and AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by more than 51 per cent since the peak in 2004
The authors of the study published today have also said the technique may not necessarily be effective for all HIV-infected individuals, specifically those carrying the gene CXCR4.
Sarah Palmer, the Deputy Director of the Centre for Virus Research at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, said the study further confirms the promising HIV curative effects of bone marrow transplantation from the relatively few persons, who have the HIV resistant cells also adding that the curative process is not yet applicable to tens of millions of other HIV-infected individuals worldwide.
She said the next steps should be focused on how to do so..