The Second Patient Who Was Cured Of HIV

The second cured patient who had been infected with HIV received a stem cell transplant, and this made his cure possible. This fact opens the door to a concrete hope of advancing in the definitive treatment of the disease.
The second patient who was cured of HIV

The news that there is a second patient who was cured of HIV appeared in the media for the first time in 2019. Doctors did not dare to say that it was something definitive. However, now, more than a year later, the chances of this cure being complete are increasingly tangible.

The acronym for HIV refers to the human immunodeficiency virus. Although it can often be confused with the term AIDS, the two are not the same thing. HIV is the virus itself, while AIDS is the final stage of this infection – it represents the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

HIV is a virus that attacks certain cells of the immune system and destroys them. These cells are CD4 T lymphocytes. They are essential cells for our body, as they are responsible for stimulating and coordinating many of the cells of the immune system.

There are many people with HIV in the world. In fact, it is estimated that there are about 39 million infected. Therefore, in this article we will talk about the second patient who was cured of HIV and how his treatment has been.

The story of the second patient who was cured of HIV

The second patient cured of HIV is called the “ London patient ”. The first case, called “ Berlin patient ”, was declared cured around 2008. This idea of ​​cure has always been expressed with caution.

This is because HIV is a virus that stays in our body chronically. It destroys CD4 T lymphocytes, making our immune systems weaker so that we cannot adequately respond to infections.

The course of HIV is complex. If left untreated, it can lead to AIDS, which is the stage at which complete immunodeficiency already exists. Until recently, it was thought that there was no cure for this infection.

Antiretroviral treatments are based on keeping the infection under control. In this way, the risk of transmitting the virus and its existing copies in the body are reduced. Thus, people with HIV can have a longer life expectancy.

HIV positive
HIV is an infectious virus that can progress to AIDS.

How can there be a patient who has been cured of HIV?

Both the first and second patients cured of HIV are people who have undergone a stem cell transplant. In this new patient cured of HIV, the transplant was to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The technique was performed in 2016.

Stem cell transplantation  allows the donor’s cells to replace the patient’s cells. However, if it were any transplant, the person would remain infected with HIV.

However, what scientists did was choose a specific donor. The donor had two copies of a genetic mutation in his white blood cells. This mutation made him resistant to HIV, and he could not be infected.

Thus, as the donor’s stem cells replaced the patient’s, the patient became increasingly resistant to HIV. The virus failed to enter cells or replicate in the body. So he ended up disappearing.

HIV virus
Bone marrow transplantation was the key to curing these HIV-infected patients.

What does this mean for medicine?

After this intervention, the second patient who was cured of HIV stopped taking treatment against the virus. In fact, after 30 months, there was still no sign of infection in her body. So researchers are starting to talk about healing.

This fact represents a milestone in the history of medicine. HIV is an infection that remains one of the world’s biggest health problems. Although more and more treatments and ways of prevention are known, it is still one of the main causes of death.

The fact that there is a second patient cured of HIV allows us to have a much more hopeful view of research and possible treatments for this infection. It will be a matter of continuing on the investigative path to arrive at more precise ways of approaching the problem.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button