Two men from Boston who were HIV-positive are now completely HIV-free, researchers announced at the International AIDS Conference last week.
The men were treated for lymphoma with bone marrow transplants that replaced their infected cells with healthy ones. One man has been HIV-free for two years, the other for four.
This new case is similar to the case of “the Berlin patient,” or Timothy Ray Brown, who was cured of HIV with a bone marrow transplant five years ago. Though there are still traces of HIV in his system, he no longer needs antiretroviral drugs, making him “functionally” cured. The men in Boston are still on antiretrovirals, so doctors are not yet calling them “cured.”
“(These studies) give us reason for enthusiasm, that ultimately we are going to get to where we needed to go, which is to cure people with HIV infection,” said Dr. Steven Deeks, an HIV expert at the University of California, San Francisco.
– Camille Beredjick