STUDY: Third person cured of HIV after stem cell transplant

According to a research released on Monday, a man known as "the Düsseldorf patient" has become the third person to be pronounced HIV-free following a stem cell transplant that also treated his leukaemia.

PARIS – According to a research released on Monday, a man known as “the Düsseldorf patient” has become the third person to be pronounced HIV-free following a stem cell transplant that also treated his leukaemia.

In the past, the high-risk treatment has been used to successfully treat two additional cases of the virus and cancer in patients from Berlin and London.

In the journal Nature Medicine, the Duesseldorf patient’s recovery process has now made public.

The 53-year-old man, whose name has not been made public, received HIV diagnoses in 2008 and acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood disease that poses a serious risk of death, three years later.

Using stem cells from a female donor who had an uncommon mutation in her CCR5 gene, he underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2013. It has been discovered that the mutation prevents HIV from entering cells.

In 2018, the Duesseldorf patient stopped receiving HIV antiretroviral medication.

Consistent testing four years later revealed no sign of of the virus returning in his body.

According to the report, “this third HIV-1 cure case” offers “important data that will hopefully inform future cure strategies.”

The patient expressed his pride in his “global team of specialists who succeeded in healing me of HIV – and of course, at the same time, of leukaemia” in a statement.

On Valentine’s Day last week, he claimed to have celebrated the ten-year anniversary of his transplant “in a huge fashion,” adding that the donor was the “guest of honour.”

Despite the fact that data on those instances has not yet been published, the recovery of two more HIV-positive cancer patients—the so-called New York and City of Hope patients—was revealed at several scientific conferences last year.

  • Additional report by AFP
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