Second Person May be Cured of HIV

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A Second Person May Be Cured of HIV

By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer for Live Science

A man in the United Kingdom may be the second person ever to be cured of HIV.

The new patient, who was diagnosed with the virus in 2003, appears to be HIV-free after a special bone-marrow transplant, according to a new report of his case.

The researchers caution that it’s too soon to say for sure if the man has been definitively cured of HIV. But the patient has experienced long-term remission from the virus without the need for medications for 18 months. [27 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

The case marks only the second time ever that doctors have used this particular treatment to seemingly eliminate the virus from a person’s body. The first patient — known as the Berlin patient — received a similar bone-marrow transplant in 2007 and has been HIV-free for more than a decade.

“By achieving [HIV] remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin patient was not an anomaly, and that it really was the treatment … that eliminated HIV in these two people,” lead study author Dr. Ravindra Gupta, a professor in the Division of Infection and Immunity at University College London, said in a statement.

However, the researchers stress that such a bone-marrow transplant would not work as a standard therapy for all patients with HIV. Such transplants are risky, and both the Berlin patient and the man in the new case, called the London patient, needed the transplants to treat cancer, rather than HIV.

But future therapies could aim to mimic the treatment without the need for a bone-marrow transplant.

The report will be published today (March 5) in the journal Nature.

The case marks only the second time ever that doctors have used this particular treatment to seemingly eliminate the virus from a person’s body. The first patient — known as the Berlin patient — received a similar bone-marrow transplant in 2007 and has been HIV-free for more than a decade.

“By achieving [HIV] remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin patient was not an anomaly, and that it really was the treatment … that eliminated HIV in these two people,” lead study author Dr. Ravindra Gupta, a professor in the Division of Infection and Immunity at University College London, said in a statement.

However, the researchers stress that such a bone-marrow transplant would not work as a standard therapy for all patients with HIV. Such transplants are risky, and both the Berlin patient and the man in the new case, called the London patient, needed the transplants to treat cancer, rather than HIV.

But future therapies could aim to mimic the treatment without the need for a bone-marrow transplant.

The report will be published today (March 5) in the journal Nature.

The new case report is “another proof of concept that we can eradicate HIV in theses situations,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, who was not involved in the report.

Adalja noted that although the Berlin patient and the London patient received similar treatments, the Berlin patient’s treatment was more intense — he received two bone-marrow transplants in addition to whole-body irradiation (radiation exposure to the whole body). The new report shows that doctors don’t have to use as intense a treatment regime as the Berlin patient underwent in order to achieve success.

Although a bone-marrow transplant cannot be a standard treatment for HIV, doctors can use what they learn in these special cases to try to develop new treatments that could be used by more people, Adalja said.

For example, the Berlin patient and the London patient “show that when you eliminate CCR5, you can effectively cure these patients,” Adalja said. So doctors could develop other ways to target CCR5, such as with gene therapy, to prevent the expression of the gene.

Such a gene therapy would be very different from what happened to twin babies in China last year, who reportedly had their genomes edited with CRISPR to remove the CCR5 gene. The goal of such editing, the scientist who did it said, was to reduce the babies’ risk of getting HIV. But in that case, the babies had their genes edited before birth and did not have HIV to begin with.

“Going after CCR5 in … patients who already have HIV might be a very powerful tool we can use,” and is not the same thing as genome editing in people who don’t have HIV, Adalja said.

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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2 COMMENTS

  1. From a reliable source: HIV can be cured by exposure to 30-60 minute intervals of 600 hz frequencies. The frequencies should be generated by an underwater transducer surrounded by 4-8 inches of water and then these waves travel through the air. The person can be sitting in a normal chair in a room. They do not need to be underwater. Only the transducer is underwater. The exposure should be 2-3 times per week for 3-4 weeks. There have been two cases of cure. The HIV RNA by PCR totally resolved without any other medications taken during that time. This same treatment is useful for Lyme disease and Biotoxin illness. This treatment using Wave Therapy is well known in the Lyme disease community.

  2. HIV was a doomsday weapon. Originally targeted at gays, this weaponized virus spread out to the entire population. Which was the whole idea in the first place.

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