New Step in HIV Treatment

Hayley Royal, Reporter

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This week brought exciting news to those affected by HIV and the medical community as a whole. For the first time in twelve years, two individuals that tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus have reached remission from the infection. One man was reported in remission on March 4th; news that another patient had reached this status emerged just days later on the 7th.

In both cases-one in Britain and the other in Germany- the patient received a bone-marrow transplant as a treatment option for lymphoma. For both men, the bone marrow donation came from a donor with a specific mutation that prevents the HIV virus from latching onto cells. In less than two years, the men both show no sign of infection-even after stopping the antiviral drugs used to treat the disease.

Ongoing studies are monitoring HIV-positive individuals that have received a bone marrow as a treatment for cancer from a donor with the CCR5 mutation in comparison to individuals whose donors do not have the mutation. Doctors and researchers are optimistic these positive outcomes will eventually lead to a cure to the disease.

More extensive and detailed medical reports from the two men in remission are expected to be released early next week.

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