This 'London patient' becomes second person to be cured of AIDS virus after transplant
London, Mar 05: An HIV-positive man in Britain appears to have been cured of the HIV after he received a bone marrow transplant from a virus-resistant donor, becoming the second known adult in the world to be cleared of the AIDS virus, says a new study.
Although the patient has been in remission for 18 months, the authors of the British study published on Tuesday in the science journal Nature cautioned it was too early to say he had been cured.
The man is being called "the London patient", in part because his case is similar to the first known case of a functional cure of HIV, "the Berlin patient". The new patient has chosen to remain anonymous, and the scientists referred to him only as the "London patient."
The therapy had an early success with Timothy Ray Brown, a U.S. man treated in Germany who is 12 years post-transplant and still free of HIV. Until now, Brown is the only person thought to have been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
However, such transplants are dangerous and have failed in other patients. They're also impractical to try to cure the millions already infected.
According to study, the Aids pandemic has killed about 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s and about 37 million people are infected with HIV. Scientific research into the complex virus has led to the development of drug combinations that can keep it at bay in most patients.
What is stem cell transplants?
Stem cell transplantation, sometimes referred to as bone marrow transplant, is a procedure that replaces unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy cells. Stem cell transplants typically are harsh procedures which start with radiation or chemotherapy to damage the body's existing immune system and make room for a new one. There are complications too.