A second patient with HIV is in remission following a stem cell transplant.
Researchers say an unnamed man in London who was being treated for both HIV and advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma has now been in remission from HIV for 18 months. This is only the second instance of an HIV patient being free from the virus since the beginning of the global AIDS epidemic.
12 years ago, a patient in Berlin named Timothy Brown was said to be the first to be “cured” of HIV after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. Researchers have been trying to replicate these results ever since. In both patients, bone marrow and stem cell transplants resulted in a genetic mutation that led to HIV immunity.
HIV has killed at least 35 million people over the last 35 years. Doctors are unsure if the mutation can be considered a “cure” or if it will be effective in future patients.
Since it was first used on Brown, doctors have tried it on numerous other patients with little success. They say it’s too early to tell if that will change going forward.
Meanwhile, the life expectancy of people with HIV has nearly doubled since 1996.