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Man Officially Cured of HIV

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Dominic Male
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  #1 Old 26-10-2011 Default Man Officially Cured of HIV

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For the first time, a man has been declared officially cured of HIV. The remedy may nearly have killed him, but it opens a door?just a crack?to hope that we may someday kill off the scourge for good.

Strangely enough, the diagnosis that most concerned Timothy Ray Brown in 2007 was acute myeloid leukemia. HIV has been increasingly thought of as a manageable disease, though certainly a terribly burdensome one. What brought the 42-year old Brown under the care of Germany's Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin hospital was the more immediate threat his cancer posed.

The treatment Brown underwent was aggressive: chemotherapy that destroyed the majority of his immune cells. Total body irradiation. Finally, a risky stem-cell transplant that nearly a third of patients don't survive?but that appears to have completely cured Brown of HIV.

Doctors were savvy when they chose a stem cell donor for Brown. The man whose bone marrow they used has a particular genetic mutation, present in an incredibly small percentage of people, that makes him almost invulnerable to HIV. With Brown's own defenses decimated by treatments, the healthy, HIV-resistant donor cells repopulated his immune system. The initial indications that the virus had abated were promising. But only just now, having taken no antiretroviral drugs since the transplant, and following extensive testing shows no signs whatsoever of HIV, have his doctors given the official word:

He's cured.

What does this mean for the future of treatment? It's not as though every HIV patient can or would want to go through the tremendous suffering that was prelude to Brown's recovery, or be able to afford the procedure if they could or did. But for the first time, we know that HIV can be cured, not just managed. It opens new avenues of research?gene therapy, stem cell treatments?that may otherwise have been thought dead ends.


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Last edited by Dominic; 27-10-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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frostbyte13 Male
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  #2 Old 27-10-2011 Default Re: Man Officially Cured of HIV

My gosh, the full works for cancer. Brutal treatment on anyone's body I'd be surprised if he can even be in a physiologically stable state after all that. What comes into my mind when I read that list of treatments : PVS (Persistent Vegetative State) Kudos to the hardworking medical faculty staff responsible for his treatment.
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Young Male
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  #3 Old 27-10-2011 Default Re: Man Officially Cured of HIV

Ooo I've read this article before.

I wouldn't think of this as a cure because it doesn't really target the virus directly. It's essentially an organ transplant, and you wouldn't say that someone's osteoarthritic knee has been 'cured' after going through a knee replacement surgery- just managed.

Nevertheless, this is a very big step forward for medicine.
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  #4 Old 27-10-2011 Default Re: Man Officially Cured of HIV

It looks as if they worked on the fact that HIV affects the immune system, so they got rid of that man's immune system almost entirely. Ouch.
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