A 53-Year-Old man has been declared cured of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) after receiving a stem cell transplant. According to a study, this also treated his leukaemia.
Though it is not the first time when a person has been cured of HIV, which can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) if left untreated, it is a significant development toward the treatment of the disease.
According to a report in AFP, the man, known as the ‘the Duesseldorf patient’ is the third person to be successfully treated for HIV. The report also said that two other persons with both HIV and cancer have previously been cured. They hailed from Berlin and London and were cured following the high-risk procedure.
According to the journal Nature Medicine, the 53-year-old man was diagnosed with HIV in 2008. The identity of the person has not been revealed. Three years later, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer that can be life-threatening.
ALSO READ | HIV Drug May Help Reverse Memory Loss, Finds Study
Five years later, he had a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a female donor with a rare mutation in her CCR5 gene. After this, it was found that the mutation stopped HIV from entering cells. He then ceased antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2018.
Consistent testing for four years has found no trace of HIV returning to his body. According to the study, this is the third case of “HIV-1 cure”.
“It will provide valuable insights that will hopefully guide future cure strategies,” it said.
Doctors and scientists have been looking for a cure for HIV for decades. While bone marrow transplant has given hope, it is a severe and dangerous operation. Therefore this cannot be done on a large scale. Also, finding a bone marrow donor with the rare CCR5 mutation also remains a major challenge.
Editorial Disclaimer- Further research on this subject is required before making any conclusive judgements