Promising news in the fight against HIV/AIDs. A German man has become the first person in human history to be successfully cured of HIV.
In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown, a Berlin man, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. During the course of the treatment of his leukemia, Brown nearly died. Doctors put him through extremely aggressive chemotherapy treatments that destroyed the majority of his immune system, which caused Brown to undergo a risky stem-cell transplant, which apparently cured him of the HIV virus.
After his system was nearly decimated by chemotherapy, Brown’s doctors wisely picked a stem-cell donor who had a genetic mutation that made him nearly immune to HIV. And with Brown’s own immune system all but gone, the healthy donor’s cells repopulated Brown’s system, subsequently curing him of the virus.
Although Brown’s diagnosis is amazing, it is not easily reproduced. He went through extensive, and nearly fatal, treatments as doctors worked to save his life.
HIV has increasingly become a manageable disease, and many are able to live long, productive lives, so it is doubtful that most living with the virus would want to take such a grueling course of action, or could even afford it, to get rid of the virus. But for now, we know that the virus can indeed be cured.