In very recent news, a patient who has been suffering from HIV for the past 16 years has recently been ‘cured’ and recent HIV tests are indicating that HIV is ‘undetectable’ in the patient’s system.
The patient has been recently suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was implanted with stem cells that resulted in his cancer going into remission, but incredibly, also his HIV.
Part of the reason why this is creating such a buzz in the medical community is that several years ago a very similar case in Berlin took place where a patient received a bone marrow transplant resulting in their HIV going into remission also.
A small portion of the population has a mutated version of the CCR5 receptor which is typically the most common receptor through which the HIV virus enters cells. The mutated version effectively acts as a blocker for HIV viruses. Both transplants to these cancer patient me from donors who had this mutation which resulted in the ‘curing’ of their HIV too.
It’s important to note that this is not an effective cure that could be put to mainstream use due to the toxic effects of chemotherapy. However, medical researchers are still excited about this because it does give a new angle on research for a cure.
Although the London patient is now essentially cured, researchers believe HIV cells may linger in the body afterwards.
Of course, HIV is now a very manageable condition and those with it are able to live long and fulfilling lives.
Students who are going for Biology or Medicine would definitely appreciate this incredible story and modern medical breakthroughs go down fantastically in an interview setting.
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