CNN has reported that a second person may effectively be cured of HIV. According to a case study to be published Tuesday in the journal Nature, the "London Patient" has experienced sustained remission from HIV-1.
Some scientists believe that the "London patient" has been cured of the viral infection, which over 37 million people currently live with worldwide.
As mentioned earlier, this is the second case. The first one 10-years-ago, and they are referred to as the "Berlin patient". CNN reports that both the London and Berlin cases were treated with stem cell transplants from donors who carried a rare genetic mutation known as CCR5-delta 32. That genetic mutation made the carriers resistant to HIV.
Although the scientists are saying that it is too early to call it "cured", "London" has been in remission for 18 months since he stopped taking antiretroviral drugs.
The lead author of the study, Ravindra Gupta, and a professor in University College London's Division of Infection and Immunity reported the following in the journal Nature: "By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin Patient was not an anomaly and that it really was the treatment approaches that eliminated HIV in these two people."
Gupta added that the method used is not appropriate for all patients but offers hope for new treatment strategies, including gene therapies. He and his colleagues will continue to monitor the man's condition, as it is still too early to say that he has been cured of HIV.
The case is proof of the concept that scientists will one day be able to end AIDS, the doctors said, but does not mean a cure for HIV has been found.
Gupta described his patient as "functionally cured" and "in remission". CNN adds that there is a reason behind the infected person was named "the London patient" -- his case was/is similar to the first known case of a "functional cure of HIV" -- an American man, Timothy Brown.
Brown (Berlin patient) underwent similar treatment in Germany in 2007, which also cleared his HIV. Once again, this treatment only works on certain patients, but it is definitely a huge step forward.
This will give millions of people hope for a healthier future!
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