First woman gets cured of HIV with stem cells

Stem cells proves to be a potential cure for HIV after a women with leukemia gets cured


Science has constantly proved that it progresses and has cure for different diseases. So far AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) was a condition that did not have any cure. But now a woman in the United States has become the first one to be cured of HIV, a virus that causes AIDS. The patient was suffering from leukemia and received stem cells from a donor. The stem cells have the potential to become any kind of cells in the body. The donor of the stem cells was naturally resistant to HIV.

The woman here is 64 years old of mixed race and her case was presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, Colorado. This has also become the first case where blood from the umbilical cord is involved. The umbilical cord is an organ that connects a pregnant mother to her fetus. Usage of the blood in the umbilical cord is new and the doctors are now considering to make the treatment available to more people. The patient was receiving the umbilical cord blood to treat her leukemia, which is a cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells in the bones.

The women has been receiving treatment and has been in remission. She has also been free of HIV for the past 14 months and did not need any HIV treatments which are also known as the antiretroviral therapy. However, there were earlier two cases where the patients were cured but they were males and had received adult stem cells. These adult stem cells are usually used in bone marrow transplants.

Sharon Lewin, who is soon going to be the head of the International AIDS society in a statement said that this is the third report of a cure in a similar setting and the first in a woman who was living with HIV. Lewin also said that bone marrow transplant does not cure majority of the people with HIV, but the report has confirmed that a cure for HIV is possible.

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