This year a second man was cured of HIV after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor with genetic resistance to the disease. After the transplant, the patient known as “London Patient” who also had cancer, was cleared of both the disease and cancer. He is the second known patient to be cured of the disease. The first was in 2007 when another patient received similar treatment.
Over the years more than 30 million people have died from HIV and more than 70 million have been infected. As the bone marrow transplant proved to be successful, the patient has given researchers “fresh hope” after years of searching for a cure, reports Reuters.
“The new bone marrow is resistant to HIV, and also the new bone marrow is actively eliminating any HIV-infected cells through something called ‘graft versus host’ disease,” says co-chair of the International AIDS Society’s cure research advisory board and a researcher at Australia’s Doherty Institute.
Though this procedure proved to be successful, it is a very expensive and risky one that puts the patient’s life at risk as his/her immune system is essentially destroyed and replaced completely by the incoming system during a bone marrow transplant. It works because the HIV virus is destroyed in the process.
Currently, though, experts say there are many ways for people living with HIV to manage their health without needing an extreme transplant, including taking a pill on a daily basis.
Read Full Story: Reuters