Researchers hopeful after second person seemingly free of HIV following bone-marrow transplant

Mar 7, 2019 | News

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) at St. Paul’s Hospital is optimistic about the encouraging announcement that a second person has been cleared of HIV. As in the first case, this was achieved through a bone-marrow transplant from a donor harbouring a rare mutation in the human CCR5 gene. The CCR5 is necessary for HIV to enter cells in the human body as it acts as a receptor.

The HIV virus disappeared from the individual, now being referred to as the “London patient”, after a bone-marrow transplant undertaken to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is important to note that HIV cure by bone-marrow transplantation is neither safe nor capable of being easily expanded. Nonetheless, this result demonstrates the potential for eradicating HIV from the body, although further research will be required to achieve a broadly replicable HIV cure.

According to an article published in Nature and presented by University College of London researchers at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), the London patient discontinued HIV treatment in September 2017. The individual has maintained undetectable viral loads since then.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan. 

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