Almost 12 years after the first known patient to reportedly be cured of HIV, scientists believe there is another.
A man known only as “London patient” is experiencing sustained remission from the disease, causing some scientists to declare him effectively cured.
Scientists who study HIV have long been trying to duplicate the success of the original cure, but haven’t been able to until now.
Both the London patient and the original “Berlin patient” were treated with bone marrow transplants that were intended to treat cancer.
While bone marrow transplants are deemed unlikely to be an option for standard treatment of HIV in patients, there may be a modification of it within reach, possibly involving gene therapy.
“By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin Patient was not an anomaly and that it really was the treatment approaches that eliminated HIV in these two people,” said the lead author of the study, Ravindra Gupta.
The London patient has successfully stayed in remission for 18 months while no longer taking antiretroviral drugs, the longest of any known HIV-positive patient since the Berlin patient.
“I feel a sense of responsibility to help the doctors understand how it happened to they can develop the science,” the anonymous man wrote to The New York Times.
The scientists involved in the study are set to publish their report today in the journal Nature.