A man who underwent a stem cell transplant ten years ago is now the third person whose HIV infection has been definitively treated.
After lasting four years without receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and experiencing no relapses, the 53-year-old, also known as the Düsseldorf Patient, was declared to be cured.
In many nations, HIV patients receive this medication on a regular basis, which suppresses the virus to the point that it no longer causes symptoms and cannot be transmitted to others.
The Berlin Patient and the London Patient were two additional people who received stem cell transplants before and were subsequently cured.
The Düsseldorf Patient developed leukaemia months after beginning ART, and all three patients required transplants because they all experienced acute blood problems after contracting HIV.
The Düsseldorf Patient, who underwent his transplant in 2013 after being given an HIV diagnosis in 2008, recalled, “I still very clearly remember the words of my family doctor: “Don’t take it so hard. Together, we’ll see that HIV can be treated.
I initially brushed off the statement as an alibi. As a result of my international medical team’s success in healing me of both leukemia and HIV at the same time, I am now even more proud of them.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he joined his donor “as guest of honor” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his transplant on Valentine’s Day.
During a stem cell transplant, harmful blood cells are removed and replaced with healthy stem cells, often taken from the bone marrow of another person.
They pose a serious danger of problems from postoperative infections or from transplanted cells attacking healthy cells in the host’s body.
Owing to these risks, the are now only used in patients who also have other serious illnesses.
Researchers are hopeful that the knowledge obtained from healing these individuals would aid future research into HIV remedies, even if it is doubtful that stem cell therapies will become publicly accessible very soon.
According to World Bank data, ART use has increased significantly after a strong global push in recent years; from 25% of all HIV-positive individuals receiving medication in 2010 to 75% in 2021.
Although it has increased to 79% in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of all people living with HIV reside, coverage rates are still low in many impoverished nations.
AIDS the anti immune symptom from HIV came to the forefront of public interest in the 19980s and was considered the pandemic of the time.
“After our thorough research, we can now demonstrate that it is essentially viable to inhibit the reproduction of HIV on a sustainable basis by combining two crucial approaches,” said Dr. Bjorn-Erik Ole Jensen of Düsseldorf University Hospital.
In order to prevent the virus from respreading, both the severe depletion of the virus reservoir in long-lived immune cells and the transmission of HIV resistance from the donor immune system to the recipient must take place.
In order to make this conceivable outside of the limited set of framework conditions we have described, more research is now required.