Lots of red ribbons: The globally recognized symbol of solidarity with HIV-infected people
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According to AIDS researchers, a fourth patient has been cured of the virus.
The 66-year-old has made a full recovery at the City of Hope Cancer Center in California after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia.
This was announced by researchers on Wednesday in the run-up to the international AIDS conference beginning on Friday in Montréal, Canada.
The patient is therefore the second HIV patient to be completely cured this year.
In February, researchers declared a US citizen known as the “New York patient” to have recovered.
Previously, patients from London and Berlin could be cured.
The fourth patient, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a statement from the California Cancer Center: "When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, like many others at the time, I believed it was my death sentence.
I never thought that I would see the day when I no longer have HIV.
I am infinitely grateful.«
The City of Hope patient was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2019.
As a result, like the two HIV patients from London and Berlin, he received a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from an unrelated donor with a rare mutation missing part of the CCR5 gene.
The causative agent of the immune deficiency disease AIDS cannot harm people without this gene.
Healed after 31 years
In March 2021, the patient discontinued the antiretroviral medication and has since been considered fully cured.
The patient was infected with the HI virus for 31 years, longer than the other people who were able to be completely cured.
Jana Dickter, an infectious disease specialist at the City of Hope Cancer Center, told AFP he is the oldest of the fully cured HIV patients and his success holds promise for other elderly HIV patients who are also at suffer from cancer.
The reduced-intensity chemotherapy helped the patient and may allow other older HIV patients with cancer to receive treatment, Dickter said.
However, for many of them it is not an option because it is a complicated treatment with strong side effects.