Man says he’s first person cured of HIV
A middle aged man living in San Francisco says that he is the first person to be cured of HIV following the administration of a new and potentially life-saving form of medicine. Timothy Ray Brown has had the HIV virus completely eradicated from his body more than 10 years after he was diagnosed with the sexually transmitted infection, according to CBS San Francisco.
In 2007, while Brown was living in Berlin, Germany, he received a bone marrow stem cell transplant that was intended to treat both his HIV and leukemia. The donor of the stem cell was one of the few individuals who had a gene that made him or her immune to HIV.
"I quit taking my HIV medication the day that I got the transplant and haven't had to take any since," Brown told the news source. "I'm cured of HIV. I had HIV but I don't anymore."
Only around one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV, a trait which many medical experts believe stems from the era of the Great Plague. People who survived that pandemic may have passed on HIV-immune genes to their offspring.
Despite this exciting news, doctors are still wary about the potential of the alleged cure. Stem cell transplants are relatively common for cancer patients, but the procedure carries significant health risks.
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicince is funding stem cell research in the Bay Area of San Francisco. They are basing their research on Brown's case in hopes that they will be able to create a form of the treatment for more individuals who are HIV positive.