A 53-year-old man in Germany has been rid of HIV, becoming the fifth person to be cured
At a conference in 2019, researchers announced that “the Dusseldorf patient” had successfully been treated. But they couldn’t confirm that the man had been completely cured of HIV. But now, years later, the man is still HIV free. And with that, he becomes the fifth person ever to be rid of the virus.
“The Dusseldorf Patient”, as he is called to protect his privacy, is part of a small group of patients that have been cured of HIV. Researchers said that even after the man stopped taking his HIV medication four years ago, he is still completely free of the virus. Bjorn-Erik Ole Jensen, who presented details of the case in a new publication in “Nature Medicine”, told ABC News: “It’s really cure, and not just, you know, long term remission.” And that gives hope for the future.
The patients have been treated with the method of stem cell transplant. And even though the procedure is risky, in some cases it was actually possible to cure HIV. This fifth confirmed case of a person cured by this method could help researchers find better ways to cure the virus. “I think we can get a lot of insights from this patient and from these similar cases of HIV cure,” Jensen told the news channel. “These insights give us some hints where we could go to make the strategy safer.” Stem cell treatment isn’t a good method to apply to all patients. But scientists are feeling positive about the future. Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious disease at South Shore Health, told ABC News: “It is obviously a step forward in advancing the science and having us sort of understanding, in some ways, what it takes to cure HIV.”
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Source: ABC News | Image: Unsplash, Julia Koblitz