Cured: World’s Fourth Person Now Confirmed to be HIV-Free

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Lead author, Professor Ravindra Kumar Gupta from the University of Cambridge, says: “We propose that results represent the second ever case of a patient to be cured of HIV. Our findings show that the success of stem cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported in the Berlin patient, can be replicated.”

There have been a few notable cases of individuals considered "cured" of HIV, thanks to very specific and complex medical treatments. These cases are rare and involved stem cell transplants, a treatment that is not widely applicable to the vast majority of people living with HIV due to its high risk and the difficulty in finding compatible donors.

Known Cases of HIV Cures:

The Berlin Patient (Timothy Ray Brown): The first person ever reported to be cured of HIV in 2007. He received a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation (CCR5-delta 32 mutation) that is resistant to HIV. Unfortunately, Timothy Ray Brown passed away in 2020 due to a recurrence of leukemia, unrelated to HIV.
The London Patient (Adam Castillejo): Announced as cured in March 2019, he also received a stem cell transplant from a donor with the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. As of the last update, he remains HIV-free without antiretroviral therapy.
The Düsseldorf Patient: Reported in 2020, this patient is another individual who underwent a similar stem cell transplant with the CCR5-delta 32 mutation and has since shown no detectable HIV.
The New York Patient: In 2022, this patient, who had a form of leukemia, received a stem cell transplant from umbilical cord blood with the CCR5-delta 32 mutation and was later reported to have no detectable HIV.

These cases, while incredibly significant, represent highly specific circumstances involving cancer treatments, which allowed for the risky procedure of stem cell transplantation. Such treatments are too dangerous and expensive to be considered a viable option for the majority of the approximately 38 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS.

The Importance of These Cases:

The significance of these cases lies in the proof of concept that an HIV cure is possible and provides invaluable insights into the mechanisms that could potentially lead to a more applicable and available cure . Researchers are exploring gene editing (such as CRISPR-Cas9), therapeutic vaccines, and other novel antiviral treatments to find a safer and more universal cure for HIV.

While a handful of individuals have been cured of HIV under very specific and rare conditions, the global health community continues to focus on prevention, treatment, and the search for a cure that is accessible to all people living with HIV.

Early signs of HIV include headache, fatigue, muscle ache, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, fever, as well as a non-itchy, persistent red rash (usually on the torso). HIV can develop into AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome – especially if left untreated. 



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