It looks like another person has been cured of HIV, by using donated stem cells to help him fight leukemia!
One person in all of history to date has been known to be cured of HIV: Timothy Ray Brown originally of Seattle, Washington.
Brown was diagnosed with the disease in 1995, and then, catastrophically, went on to develop leukemia about 12 years later.
This is how it happened:
Since his HIV diagnosis, Brown had been taking antiretroviral drugs to keep it at bay, and once he developed his cancer, doctors added radiation and chemotherapy into the mix.
And then came the kicker: doctors used donated stem cells to rebuild Brown’s immune system.
(Photo credit: sciencemag.org)
But treating an HIV patient for cancer is different from “regular” case. The professionals made a key choice: they didn’t take donated stem cells from just anyone to give to Brown.
Medical professionals helped Brown by taking a stem cell donation from someone who was immune to HIV.
Yes, amazingly, it does exist. About 1% of Caucasians have a gene mutation that actually triggers immunity to the deadly HIV virus.
And so, once Brown received this transplant, his cancer was cured and along with his body’s reaction to HIV. The genetic variation went into his system and gave him a cure for the disease.
While all of that seems to be miracle enough, scientists today believe they may have added a second survivor to be cured of HIV.
(Photo credit: thebody.com)
Theguardian.com tells of a test cure for HIV conducted by five of Britain’s top universities that has resulted in a test patient showing no signs of the virus in their system following treatment.
While it will really take many years to see if it actually is foolproof, for now it seems to be working.
The possible cure involves the use of antiretroviral drugs, and other methods.
Since the HIV virus can remain dormant for a long time in a person’s body, it makes it hard to find the virus and kill it. It goes into hiding.
(Photo credit: zeenews.india.com)
This new procedure uses a drug known as vorinostat to activate the infected cells, forcing them to announce themselves in the body, thus making them easier targets to kill.
Once patients receive vorinostat as a treatment, they are then purposely infected with a virus that boosts their immune system. This allows their bodies to destroy infected cells that are showing themselves onstage.
Is it the cure-all method? Time will tell.
For the moment, researchers can be happy that they’ve found another way to try and combat this sickness that affects around 37 million individuals all over the world.