Only one man has ever been declared cured of HIV. Timothy Ray Brown, otherwise known as the ‘Berlin patient’ due to the location of his treatment, spoke about his experience at the HIV Cure Symposium hosted at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.
With over 7 million people living with HIV, Brown’s cure is almost a tale of science fiction. Brown, who was HIV-positive at the time, found out that he had leukemia. Treating leukemia requires a bone marrow transplant, a very dangerous procedure. Doctors at the time chose a specific donor stem cell to transplant to Brown, one with a rare mutated gene that made the blood cells resistant to HIV infection. Incredibly, Brown was cured of his HIV.
The procedure has been repeated in other HIV-positive patients but without success. To read up on the complex nuances of Brown’s case, you can read the full article which appeared on the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s blog.