53-year-old man becomes 5th person to be cured of HIV

HIV blood sample.
(Image credit: jarun011/Getty Images)

Researchers have announced that a 53-year-old man in Germany has become the fifth person in history to be cured of HIV. The patient, known as "the Dusseldorf patient," received a stem cell transplant ten years ago and has not taken HIV medication in four years, according to ABC News.

While being the fifth person cured, the Dusseldorf patient is only the third person to be cured through a stem cell transplant. From the time of the procedure, the virus has not been detectable in his body. "It's really cure, and not just, you know, long-term remission," said Dr. Bjorn-Erik Ole Jensen who published the findings of the case. The first reported cure was in 2009.

Stem cell transplants are high-risk procedures that are normally reserved for cancer patients. The Dusseldorf patient was the same, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a deadly form of blood cancer, just after beginning treatment for HIV, Sky News reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Over 35 million people currently live with HIV, but many cases are managed through medication, allowing them to live fairly normal lives. "Following our intensive research, we can now confirm that it is fundamentally possible to prevent the replication of HIV on a sustainable basis by combining two key methods," Jensen said referring to the anti-retroviral medications along with the transplants. "Further research is now needed into how this can be made possible outside the narrow set of framework conditions."

"Today, I am all the more proud of my worldwide team of doctors who succeeded in curing me of HIV - and at the same time, of course, of leukemia," the patient remarked.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us