Since HIV was discovered 30 years ago, 30 million people have died from the disease, and it continues to spread at the rate of 7,000 people per day globally, according to the UN. Now, after years of progress in holding back the disease, there is finally an apparent case of one successful cure.
45-year-old Timothy Ray Brown tested positive for HIV back in 1995, but now has entered the scientific journals as the first man in world history to have his HIV completely eliminated from his body. It is what doctors call a “functional cure.”
He was living in Berlin, Germany, in 2007, dealing with HIV and leukemia, when scientists there gave him a bone marrow, stem cell transplant that had astounding results.
“The Berlin Patient,” as Brown is known, received stem cells from a donor who was immune to HIV. In fact, about one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV. Some say it goes back to the Great Plague; people who survived the plague developed an immunity, and that immunity was passed down to their heirs today.
Brown is now being monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and doctors there sought out a medical opinion from one of the most respected AIDS researchers in the world, Dr. Jay Levy, who was one of the co-discoverers of the HIV virus.
“Timothy Brown’s radical procedure may not be applicable to many other people with HIV, because of the difficulty in doing stem cell transplants, and finding the right donor. But this one case does open the door to the field of cure research, which is now gaining more attention”, experts opined.
-With The Daily Star input