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"Berlin Patient" cleared of HIV

posted 28 Jul 2012, 04:32 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 28 Jul 2012, 04:33 ]

USA-Cured HIV Patient -- "Berlin Patient" cleared of HIV


CCTV BEIJING - Timothy Brown, who is believed to be the first and only man cured of HIV infection, announced the launch of a new foundation in the fight against AIDS in the United States capital of Washington D.C.

Brown made the announcement during the week-long 19th International AIDS Conference, which concluded on Friday.


Known as the "Berlin Patient", 47 year-old Brown was living in Germany in 2007 when he had two bone marrow transplants to combat his leukemia and HIV. After the transplants, Brown tested negative for HIV.

"HIV is gone. I'm cured of HIV and also it has been over five years since the second transplant, which was in 2008. The doctors are saying I'm cleared of both diseases," said Timothy Brown.


The results stunned researchers, as the treatment appeared to cure an infectious disease that once drew comparisons to the medieval plague that wiped out millions.


However, the bone marrow transplants that Brown received carried significant risks, and would not work in most patients. The bone marrow he received had a special genetic mutation which made its stem cells naturally resistant to the virus.


Only one percent of the people who live in northern Europe carry the special mutation, which has made experts cautious about Brown's case.


"Right now, the scientific community is trying to maximize what we can learn. He will be followed very carefully, and any lessons that can be extracted from that and turned into something that's more generalizable, I think is the strategy," said Gary Nabel, director of the AIDS Vaccine Research Center under the US National Institutes of Health.


Last month, clinical researchers in California said the virus had resurfaced in Brown. Scientists disagree about whether Brown may still have traces of HIV in his body.


Brown and his doctors reject the findings, saying any remaining virus particles were inactive.

Brown and his supporters are launching a new foundation this week aimed at funding more HIV research. The group is aware of the controversy, but their aim is to save more lives and bring hope to HIV affected people.


"Just by breaking the barrier, and being the first person to find a cure, he's given hope to researchers, and the basic research around it has also changed, because we now know more because of Tim's case, scientifically and medically. So, it's a huge milestone. It's not the way we're going to treat everyone with AIDS, but it is a huge milestone on the way to a cure," said Chad Johnson, Co-Founder of the World AIDS Institute.


"Basically I'm proclaiming that a cure is possible and it gives patients and their loved ones hope, a feeling of hope," added Brown.


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