HIV remission achieved in second patient
A British man may be the second person to be cured of HIV after doctors said he was in ‘sustained remission’ after being given stem cells from a donor with genetic resistance to the disease.
The breakthrough comes 10 years after the first such case, known as ‘The Berlin Patient’.
The second person, dubbed ‘The London Patient’ was treated by specialists at University College London and Imperial College in 2016, and has since shown no sign of the virus.
Doctors are hopeful the man is now cured, although say it is too early to make a final call.
The research, carried out by scientists at University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, was funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centres at University College London Hospitals, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial.
The research team is presenting the findings today (5 March 2019) at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
Both patients thus far were treated with stem cell transplants from donors carrying a genetic mutation that prevents expression of an HIV receptor CCR5.
The subject of the new study has been in remission for 18 months after his antiretroviral therapy was discontinued. The authors say it is too early to say with certainty that he has been cured of HIV, and will continue to monitor his condition.
The case report was published in Nature.
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