The human immunodeficiency viruses, also known as HIV, are two types of retroviruses that cause AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, over time. Most people who get infected with either of the two viruses die, on average, roughly 10 years after the date of HIV infection. First discovered in 1981, the group of symptoms now known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome was found in gay males and intravenous drug users. Two years later, in 1983, the grouping of symptoms now known as AIDS earned the name of AIDS.
Even though modern medicine has made great achievements over the past four decades, or ever since AIDS was first observed in the United States, neither of the two human immunodeficiency viruses have successfully been removed from patients’ bodies entirely with the exception of one case back in 2003.
Just yesterday, however, physicians who specialize in AIDS and HIV managed to get a piece of research published in Nature, a popular journal in which world-leading research is often published, that indicated a man in London, England, the United Kingdom, had been completely cured of HIV.
The man who just recently hit 18 consecutive months without doctors finding even a trace of either of the two human immunodeficiency virus subtypes has chosen to remain anonymous.
The London-based man who was formerly infected with HIV was diagnosed as being a carrier of the disease in 2003. Three years ago, in 2016, the patient got cancer and signed up for a stem cell transplant, an alternative method of healing cancer that has been shown to be remarkably successful in some patients. It turns out that the stem cell transplant rid the man’s body of HIV.
The physicians who published the work yesterday in Nature purposefully searched for and located a willing stem cell donor whose genetic makeup caused the body to be entirely resistant to HIV. The aforementioned stem cell transplant effectively beefed up the London-based man’s immune system to an all-time high, causing every retrovirus responsible for AIDS to be killed via natural means.
Leukemia, the type of cancer the anonymous man had, went away for a few months after treatment. Once it returned, he received a second stem cell donation from the HIV-resistant patient. He is free of cancer today.
The first and only other person to be cured of HIV is Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the “Berlin patient,” who was treated over a decade ago in Berlin, Germany.