A remarkable stage has been reached in medical science as another person suffering from HIV has been cured of the virus. A middle aged man known as the Dusseldorf patient was diagnosed with the HIV virus in 2008. He received a stem cell transplant which has been termed as ‘high-risk’. The person here has got rid of all signs of the human immunodeficiency virus after almost a decade of being treated. After being diagnosed in 2008, the patient was put on antiviral treatments in 2010.
In 2011, he was diagnosed with leukemia which is the cancer of the white blood cells in the bone marrow. This is when the doctors decided to take a different route and in 2013 he underwent a stem cell transplant. Here stems cells are taken from the bone marrow of a donor and are replaced in the sick patient’s white blood cells. Here the donor was picked as they had a genetic mutation which makes them resistant to HIV. The doctors here intended to cure leukemia and to also give the patient a genetic based resistance to HIV. Ever since then, it has been nine years since he received the treatment and four years of giving up the use of antiviral treatments, the researchers have announced that the patient does not show any signs that replicate HIV particles in the body. The doctors have said that he is virus free. The Dusseldorf patient has become the third patient to receive such a stem cell transplant.
It has to be noticed here that there is still no clear line between cured and infectious. But still the Dusseldorf patient has joined the other recipients of stem cell. The researchers are confident that all the functional HIV genomes have been removed from their body. Here the word ‘cure’ remains in quote marks as it still comes with a few conditions.
HIV continues to remain one of the trickiest viruses for the experts as it has a tendency to remain latent in the body. It also remains beyond the reach of the immune system and modern medicines.
Photo Credits: Unsplash