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‘London Man’ becomes second person to be cured of HIV

London: Finally here is some good news for all the HIV positive patients living their lives in horror.

According to a UK study there a second HIV positive man who has been treated for AIDS. He became the second person to go into sustained remission from the virus and cleared of AIDS after receiving a bone-marrow transplant.

Yet it is too early to confirm whether or not the patient is indeed “cured” of the virus which causes AIDS,news.com.au reports.

The patient is known as ‘London Man’ has been in the sustained remission for the past 19 months in London.

Another patient who goes by the name Timothy Brown is known as the “Berlin Man” was sent into remission 10 years ago by a similar treatment but the attempts to replicate the result have failed until now.

The HIV positive London Patient was given a transplant of stem cells from a donor who had the rare gene mutation CCR5 which is related to HIV resistance.

According to experts, the London Patient was stopped from taking antiretroviral drugs 19 months ago, with “no viral rebound”.

“Coming 10 years after the successful report of the Berlin Patient, this new case confirms that bone marrow transplantation from a CCR5-negative donor can eliminate residual virus and stop any traces of virus from rebounding,” Professor Lewin, Director of Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity said calling the case ‘impressive’.

Though the experts are excited with results, they remained conservative about the current capabilities of replicating the “cure” since tens of millions of people affected by HIV worldwide.

“This is a very interesting and encouraging result; however we need to be cautious for a number of reasons,” said UNSW’s Kirby Institute director Professor Anthony Kelleher.
The study stated: “Firstly, the bone marrow transplant in both HIV cure cases were primarily used to treat cancers of the blood and were modified to enable a HIV cure. So, the cost benefit of the prognosis following a bone-marrow transplant versus that on HIV antiretroviral therapy needs serious consideration.

“Secondly, naturally resistant and compatible bone marrow donors are rare because of the need for donor recipient matching. Further, this type of procedure is not widely available in many countries.

“Finally, there is significant morbidity and mortality associated with this type of transplantation, even when conducted in the best centres, and under the best circumstances.

“While there are important limitations to applying this study to a HIV cure globally, this second documented case does reinforce the message that HIV cures are possible.

“Common to both approaches is the presence of a modified gene in our immune system (CCR5) that is necessary for HIV infection.

“This tells us that the feasibility, and importantly, the availability of delivering this approach could possibly be achieved by the rapidly accelerating field of gene editing and related gene therapies.

“However, there are still significant hurdles in this field as well.”

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