Second case of HIV cure is registered after transplant

A patient with the HIV virus , who lives in London, UK, may have been cured of the disease after having a stem cell transplant.

The information was published in the journal Nature , in which it showed the case of this patient who had the AIDS virus , and whose name was not disclosed.

He was diagnosed with HIV infection in 2013, a year after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma , a type of cancer that affects the cells of the lymphatic system.

And as the patient did not respond to conventional treatments, doctors recommended that the bone marrow transplant be done, since this procedure is indicated when the patient’s stage is advanced and no longer responds to other treatments or when the cancer recurs.

What drew attention to this case was that doctors found a bone marrow donor with a genetic mutation capable of changing the recipient’s immune system, providing natural protection against the HIV virus.

According to the study, the patient has been without signs of the virus in the body for 18 months and no longer takes the medications he used to use to control HIV infection.

For some scientists, however, this result does not mean that the patient is cured, but that there has been a remission, that is, a phase of the disease in which there are no signs of disease activity.

The first case of HIV remission

A similar episode was already known by the medical field 12 years ago, when another patient, from Berlin, was diagnosed with leukemia and had to undergo chemotherapy.

However, these treatments did not work and doctors referred him to do two bone marrow transplants.

It is at this point that the cases are very similar. The Berlin patient also received a bone marrow in which the donor also had a genetic mutation in the same protein, CCR5. This man, Timothy Ray Brown, is now considered cured of the disease.

Is it considered a cure or not?

Despite the outcome of this London patient’s case, the discovery is still not considered a cure for the virus , as scientists still refer to the condition as a long-term remission that does not guarantee that the virus will not return. In addition, it is not a possible treatment for all HIV patients.

However, it is already a promising case in the search for a cure for HIV and opens up a greater space for research in this area and gives a feeling of hope to people with the disease.

According to the United Nations program, which works to fight AIDS (UNAIDS), in 2017, 1.3 million people died from diseases related to the HIV virus worldwide.

It is extremely important to prevent and be aware of the measures and campaigns adopted by health entities to reduce this number.