HIV. Gee, just the letters are scary and, according to the government, as many as 14% of us are unaware that we've ever been infected. That's about one-in-seven Americans. Think of six other people you know. Heterosexual men and women accounted for 24% of diagnoses, while those who inject drugs and share needles accounted for six percent.

Doctors Say They've Now Cured Two

Apparently, in the medical research field, the old nugget exists even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut, so too in the scientific world. Researchers widely noted, but squinted an eye of skepticism to the first-ever patient to be cured, the so-called Berlin Patient, since identified as Timothy Ray Brown. They needed a second cure so they'd know Brown wasn't simply an anomaly: a blind squirrel with a nut.

Ten years ago Brown was able to stop taking antiretroviral drugs after an intensive round of chemo and radiation plus two bone marrow transplants, but scientists couldn't be sure of exactly what they were on to.

Latest Subject Hasn't Had Antiretroviral Drugs Since September 2017

This is what spurred the doctors, an array from Britain, Spain, Holland, and Singapore, led by Ravindra K Guptra from Cambridge in London, to write a paper to be presented on Fat Tuesday at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle. The patient has been functionally cured for some seventeen months.

Not a Cure for Everyone

The researchers stressed that these results, over ten years, do not represent a cure for everyone with HIV. 

According to Dr. Bruce Walker from the Ragon Institute, it doesn't change things for the average person with HIV right now, it does change things in terms of the research agenda because it further indicated that this is a potentially viable pathway forward to achieve a cure.

Stem Cells

The person represented in the paper got a transplant of the stem cells that produce blood and immune cells. These are typically found in our bone marrow, so researchers manipulated various mutations they found naturally occurring in about ten percent of people in Northern European countries to jigger these results.

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