An American research team reported that it may have cured HIV in a woman for the first time. Building on past successes, as well as failures, in the field of HIV cure research, these scientists have used a cutting-edge stem cell transplant method that they believe will expand the number of people who can receive similar treatment to several dozen a year.
Their patient entered a rarefied club that includes three men whom scientists have cured, or most likely cured, of HIV. The researchers also know of two women whose own immune system apparently defeated the virus in a most extraordinary way.
Carl Dieffenbach, director of the AIDS division at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of multiple divisions of the National Institutes of Health that funds the research network behind the new case study, told NBC News that the accumulation of repeated apparent triumphs in the cure of HIV “continues to give hope”.
In the first case of what was eventually deemed a successful HIV cure, investigators treated American Timothy Ray Brown for acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. He received a stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic defect that grants the immune cells that HIV targets the natural resistance to the virus. The strategy in Brown’s case, which was first made public in 2008, has since apparently cured HIV in two other people. But he also failed in a series of others.
Read the full story at NBCNews.com.