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Patient reportedly cured of HIV infection after stem cell transplant

By

December 14, 2010

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte

An HIV-infected man who received stem cell treatment for leukemia from a donor with natural resistance to HIV infection appears to have been cured of HIV, according to a report on the NAM aidsmap website. The treatment, which was carried out in 2007, opens the possibility of a cure for HIV infection through the use of genetically engineered stem cells.

The donor who provided the bone marrow for the transplant had a natural resistance to HIV infection due to the absence of the CCR5 co-receptor from his cells. HIV most commonly uses CCR5 as a “docking station” to enter its target CD4 cells and carriers of a genetic mutation of a portion of the CCR5 gene called CCR5-delta 32 homozygosity have a reduced risk of becoming infected with HIV.

For a period of 38 months after the stem cell transplant the patient continued to receive immunosuppressive treatment to prevent rejection of the stem cells. During this time the donor CD4 cells repopulated the mucosal immune system of the patient’s gut, accompanied by the complete disappearance of host CD4 cells. After two years the patient had the CD4 count of a healthy adult of the same age but no detectable HIV infection.

The case was first reported at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. Berlin doctors also published a detailed case history in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2009 and have now published a follow-up report in the journal Blood saying, “It is reasonable to conclude that cure of HIV infection has been achieved in this patient.”

The success of the treatment could pave the way for the development of a cure for HIV infection through the use of genetically engineered stem cells. Due to the success of the treatment, scientists have been trying to coordinate efforts to identify CCR5-delta 32 homozygosity donors to expand the supply of stem cells carrying the genetic mutation, while several U.S. research groups have also received funding to investigate techniques for engineering and introducing these types of stem cells.

The road to a cure hasn’t been easy for the patient, Timothy Ray Brown, a U.S. citizen who lives in Berlin. While dealing with the lengthy and grueling treatment for leukemia he suffered two relapses and underwent two stem transplants. He them developed a serious neurological disorder that led to a bout of temporary blindness and memory problems. He is still undergoing physiotherapy and speech therapy but now appears to be on the road to recovery.

However, in an interview with German news magazine Stern this week when asked if it would have been better to live with HIV than to have beaten it in this way he said, “Perhaps. Perhaps it would have been better, but I don’t ask those sorts of questions anymore.”

Via NAM aidsmap

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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7 Comments

Bone marrow transplants are not a cure...they basically ripped out and suppressed this man's immune system, then replaced it with another one.

Does the man appear to no longer have aids? Yes. Will he still die from the treatment of it or his leukemia? Almost certainly.

As uplifting as this story is, it doesn't open any new doors. We already know about this particular weakness and several techniques have been in the works to utilize it. It is a confirmation, a very painful confirmation for the patient, that this particular strain of HIV can be combated by targeting CCR5.

A real cure will be one that doesn't kill the patient or send him/her to death's door step later.

Racqia Dvorak
15th December, 2010 @ 08:28 am PST

CUP HALF EMPTY KINDA PERSON HUH. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about other than what you outsourced from other online articles. I know commenting is an awesome feature and makes people tend to feel important in their wasteful meaning lives but if you obviously cannot view the potential outcomes from what has happened here I believe you should not be commenting on this. Thank you and have a WONDERFUL life

Facebook User
15th December, 2010 @ 02:34 pm PST

Members of an HIV dating service PozGroup,,com are talking about this at the blog area. It seems poz people are very interested in this news and hope themselves are as lucky as this man.

Facebook User
15th December, 2010 @ 07:37 pm PST

Rackia Dvorak knows what he speaks about. He is welcome to post here.

nehopsa
15th December, 2010 @ 08:10 pm PST

@Rackia: thank you for your helpful comments. I, too, welcome rational discourse in disussing the pros & cons of new serendipitous medical findings, that may translate into a new understaning of the disease processes and lead to innovative, actual, cures for the suffering.

Regards,

Dr. Rings, MD

Matt Rings
16th December, 2010 @ 04:52 pm PST

@Rackia,

While what you've said is partially true, the key thing is that the treatment appears to work. No one said it could only work if the person has leukemia. If stem cell transplants work, give it to people who have AIDS. It would not be the first time that a drug/treatment for one sickness has been found to work even better in curing a different ailment.

The person involved in the article may, in fact, die from leukemia. The ill-effects noted in the article are all related to that, not to the actual bone marrow transplant. The fact that the aids is gone cannot be overlooked. That could make bone marrow transplants a cure for people with aids. I've lost friends to aids. I'd prefer to not lose anymore.

flink
7th June, 2011 @ 05:13 am PDT

The article about Stem Cells is interesting, but many African Americans and others who believe they have AIDS/HIV, may not have AIDS at all.

If you carefully read what the producers of these AIDS tests say in writing, they suggest the AIDS/HIV test is not conclusive, or proof you have AIDS/HIV. You can also find on the Internet additional information suggesting; “Since the accuracy for HIV antibody tests has never been properly established, it is not possible to claim that a positive test indicates a current, active HIV infection or even to know what it may indicate.24”

If we go beyond the fact AIDS/HIV is a man-made genetically engineered disease, proved by Virologist as early as 1988 and exposed by Dr. Robert B. Strecker in his Video The Strecker Memorandum, in addition to the research of Brother Zears Miles, we really need to look at what the disease is and how it replicates.

For a Stem Cell to cure AIDS/HIV, it would have to inhibit the Protein Enzyme, Reverse Transcriptase. The AIDS/HIV Virus must have this protein enzyme to replicate, or reproduce itself. So if the Stem Cell therapy is not inhibiting this enzyme, people may line up for another unproven cure, the same as they line up to be tested for a disease which they my receive a “False Positive” test results. Africans and other dark skinned people naturally have fewer “T-Cells” than white people and many of the African, or black population when tested have been proven to be “False Positive” because of their naturally low T-Cell Count.

Many of the drugs used to supposedly cure AIDS/HIV are synthetic drugs, which try to block the reverse transcriptase, but actually do the same damage AIDS does, by destroying the Immune System. As victims continue to take these drugs, their Immune Systems are further depressed and the worry only adds to an ineffective Immune System, which is unable to fight off any illness. The human body is organic and as early as 1900, it was proven that all drugs, including aspirin are harmful to your good health.

The interesting point of cure, as far as AIDS is concerned, is that the doctors and scientists who have given cures or evidence of what has cured AIDS, Cancer and other diseases have been attacked by the American Medical Association and the U.S. Government. The Medical Industry has suppressed the Truth of Natural Cures.

Many diseases have been completely remedied by proper diet, while others means have been Herbs. It wasn’t until mid 1990’s that scientists rediscovered the power of natures remedy for the majority of viruses, bacteria, and fungus and among the strongest natural antibiotic the Olive Leaf Extract, used for thousands of years and known as the Tree Of Life by the Ancients. Interestingly enough, scientists found that the Olive Leaf Extract inhibits the Enzyme Reverse Transcriptase, kills almost all Bacteria, Virus and Fungus.

So we are led astray constantly with lies and additional lies of drugs, testing and now Stem Cells, the really big question is, “Where Is The Proof”.

Change your diet and change your life, eat more raw live foods and drink more fresh squeezed juices. That type of diet is the cure of most disease and has been proven since 1912 in the U.S.

Good Luck To you All

John Burns

UMOJA Research

Since 1986

AIDS, Cancer, Disease, Causes and Cures, Nutrition & Agriculture

Ref

1. Olive Leaf Extract, Dr. Morton Walker

2. Nutrition Against Disease, Roger J. Williams

3. Racketeering in Medicine, The Suppression of Alternatives, James P. Carter, M.D., Dr.P.H

4. DVD, The Strecker Memorandum, Dr. Robert B. Strecker

5. DVD, Cancer The Forbidden Cures, Massimo Mazzucco

6. DVD, Dying To Have Known, The Evidence Behind Natural Healing, Steve Kroschel

John Burns
10th June, 2012 @ 01:33 pm PDT
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