Groundbreaking Procedure Leaves Man in Remission

( – An exceptional medical breakthrough has left a man in remission from HIV for an astounding five years after a stem cell transplant aimed at treating his leukemia. At the age of 63, he underwent the groundbreaking procedure in 2019, marking him as the oldest and fourth person globally to achieve long-term remission from HIV through this method. Known as the City of Hope patient, he had battled the virus for 31 years, experiencing a stage of AIDS that claimed the lives of many of his friends in the 80s.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the recent update confirms that the unidentified man remains free of the disease, five years post-treatment. This case emphasizes the potential cure for HIV-1 infection in older individuals undergoing reduced-intensity conditioning hematopoietic-cell transplantation for cancer treatment. In contrast to the widespread belief that an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence, advancements in medicine have enabled patients to live with the virus and reduce it to undetectable levels, diminishing the risk of transmission.

Since the City of Hope patient, two more individuals have been declared free from HIV, bringing the total to six, including cases from Berlin, London, Dusseldorf, New York, and Geneva. All underwent bone marrow transplants and received stem cells from donors with a CCR5 gene mutation, known to obstruct HIV entry into cells. The City of Hope patient received the same transplant after 30 years of antiretroviral therapy, stopping ART in March 2021.

Expressing his gratitude, the patient recalled being diagnosed with HIV in 1988, and like many others, he thought it was a death sentence. No one would have ever thought he could live to see the day where his HIV diagnosis was in remission. The patient expressed his deepest gratitude towards all the scientists involved. This groundbreaking achievement represents hope for those battling both HIV and cancer, showcasing the potential for personalized treatments in the evolving landscape of medical science. It stands as a testament to the remarkable progress in the realm of healthcare and research.

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