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German HIV patient cured after stem cell transplant

Published 15/12/2010

A 42-year-old HIV-infected man living in Germany has been cured according to an American medical journal.

Blood, the journal of the American Society of Haematology, says doctors believe Timothy Ray Brown has been cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant in 2007.

Brown, known as the ‘Berlin Patient’, was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for leukemia when he received a stem cell transplant from a donor carrying a rare inherited gene mutation.

The gene is associated with a reduced risk of HIV and is found in only one to three per cent of white Europeans. Mr Brown is reported to have beaten both diseases. He told German news magazine Stern earlier this month he is now considering living in Spain or moving back to America.

Doctor Gero Hutter from Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany has said Mr Brown he is still without any signs of the HIV disease since transplant and he does not use antiretroviral medication.

He said: “For me, it is important to have overthrown the dogma that HIV can never be cured.”

If Mr Brown has been cured, it points the way towards developing a cure for HIV/Aids infection through genetically engineered stem cells.

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