An HIV patient in London remains free of the virus 18 months after he stopped taking antiretroviral drugs. This is the second case of long-term remission since Timothy Ray Brown, also known as “The Berlin Patient” (because his case originated in Berlin), who has effectively been cured of HIV for a decade. Successive treatments to try and replicate Brown’s success have failed, until now.
The new patient, described in a Nature article published Tuesday, received a bone marrow transplant in 2016 as a treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. The procedure replaced his white blood cells with those from a donor with a gene mutation that prevents the HIV virus from invading T-cells—specifically CD4-positive T-cells—which destroy infection and keep the immune system healthy.
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