HIV is considered to be incurable. However, two success stories prove now the opposite: After a stem cell donation from a former HIV is freed-Patient UK of the Virus. The had also worked in 2007 on a US Americans.
Timothy Brown is the first person who was cured of HIV infection. In 2007, he had received a stem cell donation – not on the basis of his HIV disease, but because he also suffered from the blood cancer. At that time, the Americans had received the donation of bone marrow in Berlin. His donor was immune to HIV, and freed Brown from the Virus.
About one out of a hundred Europeans have an inherent resistance to HIV. The patient’s doctor, Gero Hütter, had selected the donor to this criterion, for Brown. And it worked: The recipient benefited from the immunity of the donor. Today, Brown is considered to be cured.
The same luck also, a Patient from the UK had now. He also received a stem cell donation – in his case, for the treatment of cancer of the lymph nodes. Also, being a donor was immune to HIV, the British benefited. When cured it does not apply yet, even more time must elapse. However, 34 months have passed since the transplant already – and in the blood of the British, no HI are currently virus more detectable. The reports of doctors from the University College London in the journal "Nature".
So the surgery went
The patients from the UK blood picture had been discounted as of the end of stem cell transplant. The donor had in his possession a very rare Mutation that made him immune to certain forms of the HI-Virus. The Patient benefited. 16 months after the transplant, he’s off drugs, the multiplication of the HI Virus. In turn, one and a half years later, the pathogen was still with him undetectable.
Georg Behrens, President of the German AIDS society, the results are very promising: "This treatment is very experimental, takes us forward but, nevertheless, as it opens up for a limited number of patients new options."
HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence anymore
Nevertheless, stem cell transplantation is not used, presumably for the mass treatment of HIV-patients. In cancer patients, it is often the last resort of choice when a radiation or chemotherapy has not helped. Matching stem cell donors are rare, and a transplant can be associated with significant complications. Thus, the immune cells of the recipient may attack the donated cells and to repel.
In addition, HIV patients now have a long, normal life – even without healing. The only caveat: you have to take your life a day a tablet which prevents the Virus from multiplying and a life-threatening disease occurs. The drug also ensures that sexual partners are infected, even in the case of sexual intercourse without a condom.