A man dubbed as the London patient has reportedly been cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. While most experts in interviews cautiously call it a cure, they point out that it’s difficult to say for sure since he’s only the second person to be in long-term remission from HIV, according to The New York Times.
The first person to be reportedly cured of HIV almost 12 years ago was the Berlin patient, who was later revealed to be Timothy Ray Brown, now 52. In both cases, the patients received bone marrow transplants intended to treat cancer, not HIV. The London patient had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and received the bone marrow transplant from a donor with a gene mutation in 2016.
The London patient told the NYT, “I never thought that there would be a cure during my lifetime. I feel a sense of responsibility to help the doctors understand how it happened so they can develop the science."
While risky bone marrow transplants may not be the best option to cure HIV in other patients, the London patient’s case has inspired confidence and continued research in the scientific community. The NYT quotes virologist Dr. Annemarie Wensing, “This will inspire people that cure is not a dream. It’s reachable.”
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