A German man who received a transplant of HIV-resistant stem cells has no detectable HIV more than four years after stopping anti-retroviral treatment. The Düsseldorf Patient is the second or third person (based on the timing of his transplant or treatment interruption) whose HIV was eliminated after the procedure, but his doctors were cautious about declaring a cure. The man was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, soon after he started antiretroviral therapy. In February 2013, he received a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation called CCR5-delta32 that blocks HIV from entering cells—the same procedure that cured Timothy Ray Brown, the Berlin Patient. After more than five years with undetectable HIV, he started a closely monitored treatment interruption in November 2018. Since then, researchers have tested his blood using ultrasensitive assays and examined his peripheral immune cells and gut and lymph node tissues. Finding no evidence of replication-competent HIV, his doctors finally announced that he’s cured.
Cure: Stem Cell Cure
Finding no evidence of replication-competent HIV after many years, a German man’s doctors finally announced that he’s cured.